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Rugby tournament keeps memory of murdered player alive

FOUR years after his death, more than 250 rugby players came together at the weekend to play a special tournament in memory of Limerick's Shane Geoghegan.

The captain of the Garryowen thirds team was shot dead while walking home in November 2008. Every year since then his team-mates and friends have organised 'The Shane Geoghegan Memorial Tournament'.

"We try to do a day that Shane would like. It's all about the craic and a bit of rugby thrown in too, and even a tug of war at the end," said former team-mate and close friend Fergus Sheehan, who organised Saturday's event.

"A lot of teams from all around the country have offered to help out and we are delighted with any support we get.

Shane's brother, Anthony, who plays with Old Crescent Rugby Club, lined out wearing the same number three jersey as his older brother wore for Garryowen.

Several of Shane's team-mates either togged out or helped with the event, as did members of Shane's family. Friends there included Bernard Carroll, Conor Hartigan, JP Baggott, Niall Keogh, Mike Scanlon, Finian Chesser and Mark Hanrahan.

The rugby jersey which Shane constantly wore in training is carefully placed in a framed case above the clubhouse exit to the Garryowen pitches.

When the Garryowen thirds take to the field each player touches the jersey and passes under the message: 'Watch over us, our captain, our friend, Our Gagsy'.

Teams came from across the country, including Inish-owen Rugby Club in Donegal, and teams from Scariff, Newport, Douglas, Shannon, Ennis, Bruff and across Limerick city.

Signed Munster jerseys were raffled off as part of a collection for the 'Shane Geoghegan Trust'.

Any teams wishing to take part in next year's tournament should contact Garryowen Football Club.

Irish Independent