'Limerick won for a finish and he was at it'
Michael Noonan has spoken fondly of the final hurling match he attended with his brother, Fr Jim Noonan, who passed away earlier this month.
Fr Noonan, a Missionary priest with the Kiltegan Fathers in Nigeria for 48 years, was six years older than the Finance Minister.
He said he remembers as a boy his older brother being strong and a talented hurler, swimmer and fisherman. "I used to look up to him," he said.
Their mother would send the priest the 'Limerick Leader' each week so he could follow all the GAA news.
"He'd know the upcoming stars that I wouldn't have a clue about. He'd embarrass you actually because the fella at home didn't know half as much as the fella that was in Africa."
His brother would time his holidays home in line with the All-Ireland final in September, in the hope of Limerick being in Croke Park.
Mr Noonan said he became close to his brother in recent years, upon his return from the missions, when he became the curate in Foynes, Co Limerick.
The final GAA game the pair attended together was a Limerick win, in the All-Ireland under-21 hurling final in Thurles last September.
"We had very good seats. We were literally behind the captain when he was presented with the cup. A lot of people couldn't figure out was it my brother Jim or myself that presented the cup with the particular camera angle that was used. He got a great bang out of that. They won for a finish and he was at it."