Saturday 23 November 2019

Where are they now?

Kevin Hennessy

(Former Cork hurler)

Cork hurling was flying high in the 1980s. They won several Munster championships and two All-Irelands And they had the most feared forwards in the country. Kevin Hennessy from Midleton was part of that famous team and he recalls playing next to one of his great team-mates.

"John Fitzgibbon from the Glen used to play alongside me, I said to him going in at half-time once, 'Johnny, you should have parted the ball to another Cork player', and he replied, 'I don't give the ball to inferior players so I won't ever pass it'."

Hennessy first came under the spotlight as a minor in 1979 when he scored 1-3 in a Munster final against Limerick. They went on to win the All-Ireland, giving him the perfect start in the Cork jersey. In 1982, he added an under 21 All-Ireland to his repertoire and joined the senior squad.

Tipperary provided the opposition on his debut but Hennessy wasn't fazed. He made a solid impression and earned his spot for the semi-final against Clare. The game couldn't have gone any better, the young Midleton player hit 2-1 in the 3-19 to 2-6 win. His side followed up with a final win against Waterford and Hennessy pocketed his first Munster medal.

They lost the ensuing All-Ireland final and the one after that too but in 1984 Hennessy won his first Celtic Cross when Cork beat Offaly in the final. In 1986, Cork made it five Munster titles in a row and that year Hennessy collected his second All-Ireland winner's medal. In 1990, he won his third and final All-Ireland and three years later retired from inter-county hurling.

Along with his All-Ireland medals and Munster titles, Hennessy captained Cork, won two Railway Cup medals and an All Star award in 1986. He also won county titles with Midleton as well as two Munster club finals and an All-Ireland club title.

He works as a clerical officer with the Revenue Commissioners in Cork and is vice chairman of the Midleton club. He's still a big Cork hurling fan and thinks they'll get the better of Galway in today.

"The thing about Galway is they always give you a chance," he says. "I have yet to see them put two really good games back to back so I think Cork could win.

"Jimmy Barry-Murphy has a good thing going, he came in back in 1999 and they won the All-Ireland. When he got the job this time everyone wanted to be involved. They are all mad to perform for him and that's three-quarters of the battle."

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