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Tributes Pour In For The Retirement Of Gaelic Games' Most Successful Player

Tributes Pour In For The Retirement Of Gaelic Games' Most Successful Player
By Michael McCarthy

In the history of Croke Park, there is nobody who has been up the steps of the Hogan Stand as many times as Rena Buckley.

In her 14 year career, Buckley had an unprecedented run of success for Cork, both in football and Camogie. She has captained both teams to All-Ireland victories, amassing an insane 18 titles in all.

A key figure in Eamonn Ryan's legendary Cork dynasty in Ladies' football, she played a part in all 11 All-Ireland successes in just 12 years. In that time, Buckley picked up six football All-Stars in that period, and captained the team in 2012.

Last September, she captained Cork again, this time to a one point win over Kilkenny, picking to her seventh camogie title, and becoming to first woman to ever captain her county to both camogie and football All-Irelands.

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The victory also made her the first Gaelic Games player in history to pick up 18 All-Ireland winning medals, surpassing her former dual teammate Briege Corkery. In her 14 year inter-county career, she also received an incredible ten All-Star awards.

In 2006, Buckley was also a key part of the Ireland squad in the, as yet only, Women's International Rules tour.

Now, at just 31, she has decided to call it a day and leave Cork while still at the top of her game. It was confirmed earlier in the year she wouldn't be part of the Cork football panel, but she was expected to continue with the All-Ireland champions camogie team.

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Instead, she's decided 18 is enough and has called time on her inter-county career, telling Joe O'Shea of the Irish Independent: 

Look, in every person's life, you only have a certain amount of time, there's limited hours you can give to what you want to do.

For a long number of years, I've given sport a huge chunk of my time. And I've arrived at the stage of my life now where I have other commitments, other things I want to do. And I have to make the choice.

It's not like I want to travel the world, or make massive changes in my life. But I want the chance to give more of my time to the people in my life.

Naturally the plaudits have been coming in for a legend of Irish sport.

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