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Larry is the High King of Kilmacud

EIGHTY candles on the cake. The legendary Larry Ryan.

"Larry has been at the heart of this club since his arrival in the Kilmacud GAA club in 1961," declared Crokes chairman, Kevin Foley.

They call him the Ticket Master. When the Dubs are in Croke Park, and there's not a ticket to be had, Larry is your only man.

"It's only since I became chairman that I really understood the enormous task undertaken by Larry and his wife, Carmel, in securing tickets for members.

"I don't know how he does it, but we are just glad that he does do it!"


On the ticket allocation night before the big Dublin games, Larry arrives into Páirc De Burca with a brief-case carrying the precious pieces of cardboard.

He enters the building to a huge ovation. He gives that little grin of his. And everyone in the room knows that, once again, he has pulled off the miracle of the loaves and fishes!

Last month was his 70th successive All-Ireland Hurling final. He hails from Thurles. He was a fine hurler with Thurles CBS and Bohernanave.

He played at adult level for the Rovers of Laois, the Grocers of Dublin, Bray Emmet's, Patrick Morans and Civil Service.

Yet it is at Crokes that he has had such a remarkable impact. He attended his first County Board Convention in 1957.

And for decade after decade, he was the club delegate at all the different levels in hurling and football. And he has mentored hundreds of club teams.

He was a selector with the Dublin senior hurlers in 1969, and the Dublin junior hurlers in 1989.

He was also a selector with Dublin minor and juvenile hurling and football teams.

It was in 1962 that he became the Kilmacud secretary. He retired from the position but he did a Frank Sinatra on it - returning to the post for a further 26 years!

He helped start the first Hurling Sevens in 1973, and when Crokes run out, Larry is always at ringside, on big days and small.

"We are fortunate to have Larry in Kilmacud Crokes.

"And for us, it's a privilege to honour a great man that has made the club what it is today," notes Kevin Foley.

As they cut the cake, Larry raised his glass and gave that old familiar chuckle. Long may the King of Kilmacud continue to light up the Stillorgan scenery.