Premier county out in force to bid farewell to hurling legend Doyle
HURLING giants past and present are expected to assemble today in Holycross Abbey to say their last farewells to one of the game's greatest exponents, John Doyle (80).
The eight-time All-Ireland winner with Tipperary will be buried after funeral Mass in Holycross at 11.30am following his death on Wednesday. His remains were removed from Thurles to Holycross Abbey last night.
Hundreds filed into Egan's Funeral Home in Thurles yesterday evening to sympathise with the Doyle family as they mourned the passing of a hurler who was never dropped from the Tipperary team during an inter-county career stretching from 1949 until 1967.
Tributes have already been paid to the great player by Taoiseach Brian Cowen, GAA president Christy Cooney and old colleagues and rivals such as Michael "Babs" Keating of Tipperary and Eddie Keher from Kilkenny.
Among those in attendance at last night's removal were team-mates from those all-conquering days with Tipperary, as well as clubmates from the Holycross-Ballycahill club, with whom Mr Doyle won three county championships.
They paid their respects to Mr Doyle's widow, Anne, as well as sons Michael and Johnny and daughters Collette, Margaret, Anne-Marie, Sandra and Liz.
Celebrants included Clonmel-based Fr Ray Reidy, a brother of the late Mr Doyle's wife, while GAA patron Archbishop Dermot Clifford is expected to be among the clergy officiating at today's funeral Mass.
The Holycross native, who passed away in the Community Hospital in Thurles on Wednesday, remains the joint holder of the record number (eight) of All-Ireland senior hurling medals. He also won 11 National Hurling League medals and 10 Munster Championship titles. His last game with Tipperary was the 1967 All-Ireland defeat to Kilkenny but he later served as a county selector and a GAA Central Council representative as well as attending County Board meetings for years as a club delegate.
Both his sons played for Tipperary and Michael was senior hurling manager in 2003.