Kieran O'Connor has died at the age of 41 following a long illness.
Kieran hailed from the Aghada club in East Cork. A tough, man-marking defender, he made his Cork senior football debut in 2004 and was part of the panel which won the All-Ireland in 2010.
The father of three was diagnosed with rare bone cancer Ewing’s Sarcoma in October 2017.
In a statement, the Aghada club and the 'Friends of Kieran' fundraising group said:
The courage, determination, spirit, and bravery of Kieran as a player was seen at its finest over the last three years as he battled his illness with dignity and respect.
Today is one of the saddest occasions our club has ever known. There are no words that will capture just what Kieran O’Connor meant to Aghada GAA. We know that Aghada was embedded in Kieran's heart and his club meant so so much to him also. We are truly proud of him and his achievements in the Aghada and Cork jerseys. We are honoured to be able to call him an Aghada man.
To his incredible family we send our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sinead, Isabelle, Ava and James. And also with Pa and Mary, Pa jnr, Johno, Ashling, and Loretta, Regina and Ronan. Our condolences go out also to Kieran's parents in law Joe and Margaret, and all of Kieran’s extended family and friends.
Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy added:
"He was a tower of strength on the field of play, and showed that same strength of character and courage in dealing with his illness over the past few years."
Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE