Wednesday 18 October 2017

This poignant picture of Joe Canning with his family in tears shows how much All Ireland win means

Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his mother Josephine, father Sean, hidden and a family friend (left) following the the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his mother Josephine, father Sean, hidden and a family friend (left) following the the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Galway's Joe Canning celebrates with family and friends following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

There is not much we can say about Joe Canning that hasn't been said already.

The Galway man hit 0-9 in Galway's All Ireland win over Waterford to add the one missing medal in his illustrious career to date.

After the game, Canning stood with Tony Keady's family as David Burke delivered a rousing victory speech before lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup on the steps of the Hogan Stand in from of the jubilant Galway supporters.

Canning received huge praise online for his dignified celebrations as he posed for photographs for an hour after the win.

3 September 2017; Galway's Joe Canning celebrates with his parents, mother Josephine and an emotional Sean following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Galway's Joe Canning celebrates with his parents, mother Josephine and an emotional Sean following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway and his nephews celebrate following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his mother Josephine, following the the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Margaret Keady with the Liam MacCarthy Cup and Galway captain, David Burke , left, and Joe Canning after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his mother Josephine, following the the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Margaret Keady with the Liam MacCarthy Cup and Galway captain, David Burke, left, and Joe Canning after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway and his nephews celebrate following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his mother Josephine, and father Sean, hidden, following the the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway is congratulated by former Waterford hurler Tony Browne after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his nephew Jack, who played in the minor game, following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Galway's Joe Canning celebrates with Niall Donoghue, son of manager Micheál following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his nephew Jack, who played in the minor game, following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Galway's Joe Canning with Declan Moran following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Galway's Joe Canning celebrates with his parents Sean and Josephine following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with supporter Joe Moran following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
3 September 2017; Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with Shannon Keady, daughter of Tony, after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

There are a plethora of brilliant photographs of the Portumna man celebrating Galway's win. He warmly embraced Shannon Keady, Tony's daughter, and walked the Croke Park pitch arm in arm with his nephew Jack who guided the Galway minors to All Ireland glory earlier in the day.

He also posed for a picture with his other nieces and nephews and Margaret Keady while he took time to console the heartbroken Waterford players.

But the most poignant of all came when he approached his mother Josephine and father Sean.

Joe Canning is one of the country's best hurlers but first and foremost he is a family man.

In a recent, compelling interview with Vincent Hogan in the Irish Independent which you can read in full here, Canning opened up on his parents' recent illness battle.

"It's embarrassing for me to say it," he said before the All Ireland semi-final.

"But it probably took Mam and Dad being sick to make me appreciate life and appreciate that hurling isn't the be-all and end-all. It seems a bit foolish looking back, thinking 'What were you putting yourself under so much pressure for?' Or letting the public get to me more than anything else.

"Like, I realise that there's different standards that I'm judged on. I didn't score from play in the last two matches and people are like 'Jesus, he was non-existent!' You can't really win, but you come to accept that as you get a little bit older.

"Nobody really knew Mam and Dad were sick, apart from people close to it. It wasn't a public thing. I'd be very close to Mam especially, because I'm the baby in the family. When I was growing up, she brought me everywhere. Dad would bring the older guys to their games but with me, it was always Mam and my sister Deirdre. I'm obviously named after her as well.

"When the two of them got sick, it hit me hard. Like, people often ask me why do I play hurling. Why do you do it? I do it for Mam and Dad, to make them feel proud. To see the smile on their faces after a game. Like every young person, I probably took what my parents did for granted. But their sickness made me appreciate what they did for me a lot more.

"That's the growing up part for me I suppose. I don't know if it's changing from a child to an adult or what..."

It's one proud family right now.

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