Tuesday 12 November 2019

Seven-time All-Ireland champion Eoghan O'Gara announces Dublin retirement

Eoghan O'Gara of Dublin following the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Eoghan O'Gara of Dublin following the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

EOGHAN O’Gara has retired from inter-county football.

In a statement released today on DublinGAA.ie, the 34 year-old confirmed the end of his playing days with the Dublin senior footballers.

Initially brought into the senior setup by 'Pillar' Caffrey in 2008, O’Gara came on as a substitute in the Division Two League final loss to Westmeath in Navan, when eight Dublin players were suspended after a controversial brawl with Meath in Parnell Park in the previous round.

He went on to win an All-Ireland Junior Championship with Dublin in a team managed by Mick Deegan and captained by his Templeogue/SS team mate, Denis Bastick.

Future All-Ireland-winning team mates, Jonny Cooper, Darren Daly and Mick Fitzsimons were also on that team.

He missed the 2009 Championship through injury but enjoyed his most consistent run in the team the following season, partnering Bernard Brogan in Pat Gilroy’s remodelled Dublin attack.

O’Gara scored a vital late goal in Dublin’s All-Ireland quarter-final victory over then Ulster champions Tyrone in the All-Ireland quarter-final, a win that would be a turning point for Gilroy’s evolving team.

He was used predominantly as an 'impact sub' in 2011 and ’12 and in the early years of Jim Gavin’s reign before rupturing his ACL in March, 2015 – forcing O’Gara to miss the rest of the season.

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Though his opportunities to start were limited in recent seasons, O’Gara was selected to start the 2017 All-Ireland final victory over Mayo.

O’Gara retires with seven All-Ireland medals and ten Leinster titles to his name.

EOGHAN O’GARA’S RETIREMENT STATEMENT

"I have spent 11 years living out my dreams as a kid growing up in this great city. As I call an end to what has been the most phenomenal experience of my life I would like to thank the following:

"My parents and my nine siblings for shaping me and giving me the burning desire to never give up on that dream.

"My extended family for the constant unwavering support.

"My club Templeogue Synge Street for their never-ending support and guidance from so many generous and selfless people along the way since I was eight-years-old. Joe O’Reilly, Philip Murphy and the late Vincent Walsh who mentored me and gave me the grá for Gaelic football and belief in myself.

"To my partner Elaine for all the many sacrifices, putting her life on hold and giving me whatever time and space I ever needed to chase that dream and for putting up with me along the way. Thank you. My two beautiful daughters, Ella and Fiadh, who kept me motivated and for always having my back and making me smile.

"To 'Pillar', Pat Gilroy and Jim Gavin who all had faith in me and helped me improve as a player and a person and whose love for Dublin GAA was infectious.

"To every member of the Dublin senior football management and medical team during my time who always went beyond the call of duty whenever required.

"Thanks to the many passionate and loyal Dublin supporters who always made their presence felt hail, rain or shine and whose pride in us always added extra motivation.

"The people I have shared it with, and the experiences I have shared with them, have made me a better person and given me the tools to grow more than I ever thought possible. Some of the best people you could ever wish to meet.

"To every one of my team-mates past and present, the brothers and family I was lucky to spend so much time with and to get to know and go to battle with. Men, characters and leaders of the very highest calibre. There aren’t words to describe my gratitude and love for you. Some great friends I hope to keep for a very long time."

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