Pa Kelly retires from Kerry hurlers

Kerry player Pa Kelly has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.

Kelly, who previously played for Clare, joined the Kingdom in 2014 and has been a major part of Kerry's successes since then, made his announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from inter county hurling with Kerry," he wrote in a statement on the Kerry GAA website.

"To play at this level requires 100% dedication, but unfortunately I could not keep up with the demands to play at this high level. I would like to thank Fintan O'Connor and his management team in their support of my decision.

"I would also like to thank Ger McCarthy, Paudie Dineen, John Joe Carroll and everybody in the Kerry County Board who have supported me and who have helped me to play for Kerry over the last four and-a-half years, along with providing assistance for the players whenever we had asked. I would also like to thank Éamonn Kelly who 1st gave me the opportunity to play for The Kingdom.

"I would like to thank my club Clarecastle. Without their understanding and well wishes I wouldn't have been able to play for both teams. Finally, to the players who accepted me as one of their own. It was a privilege to dawn the green and gold with ye, and I will be forever indebted to you all for the manner in which you've treated me.

"I wish Kerry hurling all the best in 2019, and I hope to be in Croke Park in July seeing Martin Stackpoole lift the Joe McDonagh cup."

County Board Chairman Tim Murphy paid warm tribute to the Clare man.

"On behalf of Kerry GAA I wish to thank Pa Kelly for his excellent contribution and commitment to Kerry GAA over the last four years. Having an experienced and successful player such as Pa on our squad was invaluable. He played a huge role in our 2 league title wins and also in the Christy Ring Championship. We were delighted to have Pa involved with Kerry GAA. We congratulate Pa on his retirement and wish Pa and Claire all the best for the future."