Poignant farewell to 'legend' Keady as former team-mate carries iconic white helmet
Hurling great Tony Keady's iconic white helmet was brought to the altar by former teammate Gerry McInerney during a poignant moment at his funeral mass.
The Galway hurling community came together yesterday to say goodbye to one of the county's best ever players.
But thousands of mourners were told by Oranmore parish priest Fr Diarmuid Hogan that while hurling played a big part in Keady's life, his family were always the main priority.
"Hurling, while it was his passion and his energy and while it was his time-off and recreation and relaxation, it was not the most important thing in his life," he said.
Hordes of people flocked to the Church of The Immaculate Conception in Oranmore yesterday where they joined Keady's wife Margaret, daughter Shannon (15), and sons Anthony (13) and twins Jake and Harry (11) in mourning.
Also present were former teammates from his club Killimordaly and Galway, along with representatives from Ahascragh-Fohenagh and Oranmore-Maree GAA clubs, and Calasanctius College, Oranmore, where he was a caretaker.
The 53-year-old died after suffering a serious illness.
Keady was centre-back on the Galway team that won two All-Irelands in 1987 and 1988.
His daughter Shannon paid a touching tribute to her father and said he was the greatest centre-back, on and off the pitch.
"Dad is my idol. He was a warrior and a legend on the pitch, but a bigger legend off it," she said.