Ronan basks in U17 glory
The festivities surrounding the wedding of Richard Sheehan and his new wife Joanne were temporarily put on hold at the Midleton Park Hotel last Sunday evening for a very special guest who made a totally understandable late arrival to the event.
Held aloft by two large individuals that wouldn't have seemed out of place in a WWE Wresting ring, Mallow's latest All Ireland winner, Ronan Sheehan, came back to his family in triumphant fashion befitting what the teenager has achieved in earlier in the day.
Ronan, son of Denis and Ber and nephew of the groom Richard, was part of the All Ireland winning Under 17 hurling team that saw off Dublin in their epic battle in Croke Park in the early afternoon.
The young lion was as much the star attraction on the day as the special couple who in fairness to them seemed only too happy to share their moment with the town's newest sporting sensation, in fact it was the new bride that announced the young hero to the crowd who were, to their credit, more than happy to stand to attention to welcome home the all-conquering, hugely talented corner-back.
"It was amazing to get to play in Croke Park and to win with my county." Ronan told us.
"It is a great honour to play for Cork, at any level, but to line out for the county in an All-Ireland Final against a highly fancied Dublin side is something I will never forget.
"It was a tough game right from the start and they pushed us all the way. It is really tough at Under 17, really physical, but we have been training with the minors this year and that seems to have helped. Playing inter-county Under 17 is a step up physically from club but it is another big step up to 18s. You have another year of growth and that can be really tough.
"We are delighted at how the season turned out. We really didn't think at the start of the year we would get to Croke Park so that was brilliant. We didn't really know what to expect from Dublin so it took us some time to get to grips with them but thankfully it worked out for us."
For all the players this would have been the biggest day of their sporting lives so far, but for Ronan who made the trip back to Cork to go to a family wedding it was even more special as he was treated on his return like a true VIP.
"It was brilliant to go back to my family. They have been great all the way through. My mother and father especially. They drove me up and down to Cork three and four times a week and would wait above for me.
"They put in as much time as I did so this is great for them too."
And next Sunday?
"I am hopefully on the panel and maybe I'll get a game, but it really is all about the team. It will be a huge day for the county and hopefully both Cork teams will get the results we want. We won't look and further than that. If we can get the win brilliant, but we will just wait for Sunday and see what happens."
Mallow, and in particular the town's GAA Club are immensely proud of Ronan's achievements and all at the club will be eager to see just what the future holds for one of the brightest talents to emerge from this giant of a GAA Club in recent years.