All Star Diarmuid O'Keeffe headed off on a three-month trip to foreign parts on Tuesday, but he had one very important task to perform before he departed.
On the eve of his journey last Monday, he paid a visit to Rathangan N.S. with his recently received All Star Award and the Bob O'Keeffe Cup, won in June by the Wexford Senior hurlers for the first time in 15 years.
Diarmuid was a pupil of Rathangan N.S. from 1996 to 2004, and he received a rapturous reception at a specially-convened school assembly.
School principal John Ormonde spoke about his memories from primary school of the latest All Star in the parish - following in the footsteps of Darragh Ryan who was honoured as right full-back in 2001.
Diarmuid, in fact, has a remarkable record in Rackard League competitions, winning three hurling titles, two football titles, two hurling mini-sevens and one football mini-sevens, all on the field of play.
He was also selected to play in Croke Park in the mini-sevens at half-time of the All-Ireland Senior hurling semi-final between Wexford and Cork in 2003.
Although Diarmuid always possessed great natural ability, Mr. Ormonde suggested that it was his attitude and dedication that singled him out and led to his great success as an adult player.
Diarmuid then told the assembly how honoured he felt to be able to bring his award back to his old primary school.
He had been a student in fourth class himself when, in 2001, his fellow clubmate, the great Darragh Ryan, brought his All Star award into the very same assembly hall.
Diarmuid recalled the profound effect that visit had on him. He expressed his desire that his own visit would prove the inspiration some day for another All Star award for the parish.
Diarmuid then answered questions from the pupils and posed for photographs with his award and the Leinster trophy.
The school would like to wish Diarmuid all the best on his travels. We hope that he returns refreshed in February and ready to bring more glory to both club and county in championship 2020.