GALWAY hurler Niall Donohue received a touching tribute from his teammates after he was included in the county's All Stars Team of the Year.
The young player (pictured), who died in October, received the posthumous honour for leading his beloved Kilbeacanty club to the county quarter-finals before his death. The award was accepted by Niall's brother Shane on his behalf, with his family present.
Speaking at the event, Galway county manager Anthony Cunningham said Niall would never be forgotten and would always be the silent partner of the team, both on the pitch and in the dressing room. Secretary of the Galway Hurling Board, Pat Kearney said Niall was chosen for the All Stars team because of the way he had played for club and county.
He added that the tribute, which was held in McCarthy's bar in Kilbeacanty, had been a "sad and poignant occasion".
"It was a fitting tribute to Niall. It was dignified but a very sad affair. The fact that it took place in Kilbeacanty added to that. His family are steeped in hurling and many of them were there on the night," he said.
Tributes to the young player were also paid by Kilbeacanty Chairman Justin Fahy and Galway Hurling Board Chairman Joe Byrne.
Niall Donohue was found dead at his home at Ballyturin, Co Galway, on October 23 last, just two days before his 23rd birthday.
Niall McDonagh, a first cousin of the young hurler who gave a touching eulogy at his funeral, said the family had received calls and letters from across the country after they spoke out about Niall's suicide, urging others to talk about their worries.