Video: Shefflin salutes the 'real warriors'
HURLING hero Henry Shefflin has told of how the patients of Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin are the "real warriors" of the world.
The All-Ireland winner greeted dozens of fans as he paid a visit to the Dublin paediatric hospital yesterday with the Liam MacCarthy cup.
Shefflin was joined by Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and teammates Eoin Larkin, Walter Walsh, Tommy Walsh, Richie Hogan, Brian Hogan and Aidan Fogarty.
The sporting stars posed for pictures with a number of families, who proudly donned their black-and-yellow jerseys.
The 33-year-old told the Irish Independent that meeting many of the young children had helped to keep him "humble".
"I've been lucky enough that I've been here a few years and I'm lucky enough that I have three healthy kids at home as well," he said.
"So every time we come in, you wake up in the morning and you're beaming ear-to-ear because you've won a hurling match and won an All-Ireland and you think it's the be-all, end-all.
"But I think then when you come in here you realise that it's not and you're very humbled and privileged that we have our health . . . to come in here and see these kids, they're the real warriors, they're the real people. It's a very humbling experience."
Brian Cody said that despite Kilkenny's record-breaking run, the team still appreciated a win and were "delighted" to bring back the historic hurling cup to Our Lady's once more.
"One of the highlights every year is coming here to Crumlin. It's a phenomenal place and terrific to meet the children. What happens here is outstanding," he said.
"You never the underestimate the importance of these things.
"We're very privileged and obviously thrilled to have the opportunity to be successful again this year. The celebrations have been magnificent."
Cats' fan Caroline Gardiner, from Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny, was thrilled when the All-Ireland hurlers stopped by to see her eight-month-old son Dylan, who was born 13 weeks premature and suffers from cardiac and bowel issues.
"It was brilliant to see them. We thought we'd missed them, but it was great when they came in," she said.
Two-year-old Tadhg French, from Kilkenny city, was another supporter to meet the players.
The toddler, whose hospital room has been decorated in the county colours, is being looked after for three weeks after suffering a burst appendix.
"There was fierce excitement waiting for them all to arrive. We've been waiting for this for the last few weeks now," mum Elaine French said.
"Unfortunately Tadhg was feeling a bit sick today, but it'll be so nice to have all the pictures of him meeting them."