Monday 23 April 2018

Six soldiers will do the Irish Defence Forces proud on All-Ireland hurling final Sunday

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

There are plenty of interesting storylines heading into this Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Will John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer start? Can this Tipp team win an elusive second All-Ireland? Can the Cats complete an astounding three in-a-row?

Those are all engaging topics but one particularly noteworthy sub-plot involves the Irish Defence Forces.

Six of the players involved across the two panels for the hurling decider are active members of the Irish army.

Kilkenny All Stars Paul Murphy and Eoin Larkin are both corporals, with the former having served a tour of duty in Chad and the latter in Golan Heights and Kosovo.

Cats forward Colin Fennelly and replacement goalkeeper Richie Reid are both privates, bringing Kilkenny's military contingent to four.

For Tipperary, centre forward Patrick 'Bonner' Maher and sub forward Aidan McCormack are also both privates. Maher will be deployed to Golan Heights later this year

The Kilkenny quarter and McCormack are all based in 3rd Infantry Battalion, Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny, while Maher is based in an Chéad Chathlán Coisithe at Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa, Galway.

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