Late last year, Darach Honan joined a growing number of Clare's 2013 All-Ireland winning panel who announced their retirement from inter-county hurling.
It was a curious declaration from Honan - he was just 27. At the time, he blamed the prematurity of his retirement on overtraining. Honan, who stands at a striking 6' 7", suffered from hip problems throughout his career.
In an excellent article Sunday Times article by Denis Walsh examining the fate of that Clare team, Honan elaborated further regarding his time with the Banner panel.
Honan says that he took little enjoyment from his final two years with the group which saw him dedicate 25 - 30 hours a week between travel and training.
He added that his is now constantly in pain due to his hip issues.
"Not excruciating pain but I’d be aware of it all the time. You kind of get used to it but every now and again you think, ‘Fuck it, I’ve had this pain now for a year and a half.’"
Last year, Honan once against underwent surgery on his hip. The Clonlara player did not have insurance and so went to the county board for assistance. Despite having played senior hurling for the county since 2010, the county board refused to help.
I had to fork out six grand for the operation and consultations and everything. They refused to give me any help at all. It goes back to 2016. After we lost to Waterford we went on a hard training block. Two weeks, three weeks maybe. I was shagged after that. I couldn’t play. Since then I’ve had that pain. I took painkillers to get through games with my club and when I said to the county board that I needed this operation they said, ‘You played with your club so you must have been fine — it’s your club that should pay for it.’
Honan said that the GPA stepped in to provide support. Though they contributed substantial relief, it did not cover the full costs of his medical expenses.