where are they now?
Published 14/03/2010 | 05:00
(Former Limerick hurler)
THE iconic image from Ciaran Carey's 15-year career with Limerick hurlers is of the centre-back's surging run to score a magnificent last-minute winner against Clare in the Munster championship in 1996. That point denied the All-Ireland champions, and helped propel Limerick to their second All-Ireland final in three years.
Carey made his debut for Limerick in 1989, and didn't sign off until 2003. While the Celtic Cross eluded him, he won two Munster titles, two National Leagues, and was honoured as an All-Star on three occasions.
His love for the game is as strong as ever. He turns out regularly with his club, Patrickswell, but limits his upfield excursions by lining out at full-back. Having made his senior club debut in 1987, he is good to go for his 24th championship season.
With the 'Well he won nine county titles and, while the glory days are over for the present, there is nothing he likes better than pulling on the club jersey.
Other players in his position have taken up golf, but Carey is not a big golf fan. Having tried his hand at it, he sees the need to devote plenty of time to practice if he is to be as competitive as he would like -- and he doesn't have the time for that.
He could soon be joined by his son Barry on the 'Well team, for the 14-year-old is a keen hurler, lining out at half-back for his school, St Clement's, as well as the club. Not to be outdone, daughter Sarah, 17, plays camogie in the same position for Limerick.
At present working split shifts in McGarry House, a hostel for the homeless run by Novis Initiatives, Carey says: "I've been a locum worker for the last four months and it's brilliant. I have a CV of jobs the length of O'Connell Street, but this is the most rewarding I've ever been in. I'm dealing with people with serious problems and this is the career I'm going to pursue."
Management has also been part of his CV, as he led Limerick to their first camogie All-Ireland when they won the intermediate title three years ago, and he also managed the county's U21s for a year.
However, nothing beats playing, and he enjoyed a "fantastic experience" when he was re-graded to intermediate and helped Limerick to the All-Ireland final in 2008, when they were beaten by Kilkenny.