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The Tipperary County Board Have Paid A Touching, Almost Poetic, Tribute To Eamon O'Shea

The Tipperary County Board Have Paid A Touching, Almost Poetic, Tribute To Eamon O'Shea
By Conor Neville

As was signalled earlier in the year, Eamon O'Shea 'exit(ed) stage left' at the conclusion of Tipperary's interest in the 2015 hurling championship.

Today, the Tipperary county board paid a remarkably lyrical tribute to their departing boss.

Usually, county board press releases are perfunctory affairs, but it appears that the Tipp county board engaged the county's answer to the poet laureate before sending this one out.

As a selector between 2008-10, O'Shea was hailed as an important influence on Liam Sheedy's All-Ireland winning side of 2010. In particular, he has been credited for developing the fluid attacking style of play for which the current Tipperary crop are celebrated.

After two years off the scene, O'Shea took the top job at the end of 2012. He was a massively popular choice but halfway through his second season, his managerial reign looked to be heading for a surprisingly abject conclusion (think Ger Loughnane's time in Galway) as Galway led Tipp by five points with 18 minutes remaining in a qualifier in Thurles.

O'Shea had yet to win a championship match, having been stunned by Limerick in two successive Munster championship openers and beaten by Kilkenny in a low-scoring qualifier in Nowlan Park in 2013.

Tipp caught fire in sensational style, winning the final seventeen minutes on a barely credible scoreline of 2-10 to 0-1. They condemned Galway to a harrowing defeat and powered on to the All-Ireland, destroying Offaly, Dublin and then Cork en route.

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We all recall the drama of last year's All-Ireland final and some may recall his impossibly joyous post-match interview after the draw.    

The care that went into crafting today's press release does indicate just how highly O'Shea is thought of in Tipp. 

Already planned and known in advance, all was missing was the date, a truly inspirational and passionate Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea led his side into combat one last time in Croke Park on Sunday last.

It is with a huge amount of gratitude and thanks Tipperary Co. Board mark and acknowledges the contribution of Eamon O’Shea, a Tipperary man through and through who never wanted more than to see Tipperary be successful. He leaves behind a solid structure, a fabulous group of players who held Eamon in such high esteem.

His is the torch they carried; his is the badge they wore with pride. Eamon’s belief in his players was and is unequivocal and also resilient in his belief that they will succeed when he is gone. Giving up a tremendous amount of his time to Tipperary, Tipperary Co. Board is indebted to the contribution Eamon O’Shea has given in his term as manager.

The Board also thanks Eamon’s family who played their part in Eamon’s voyage and shared in his highs and some lows too. For your energy, passion, dedication, honesty and integrity on behalf of all Tipperary players, supporters and officials alike, we extend every best wish and more to Eamon O’Shea and his family now and for the future.

You are more than a “footnote” you are the foundation, the platform, the genesis of things to come. The future is bright, the future is Blue and Gold because of your contribution and for that the players salute you; we salute you, farewell and thanks.

Tipperary Co. Board Chairman, Michael Bourke said: “Eamon O’Shea’s contribution to Tipperary is immense. I have witnessed at first hand that the only thing on his mind was getting Tipperary hurling to the pinnacle of All Ireland success and keeping it there, which was his total ambition. Eamon is a man of huge belief in his ideals and in those around him and whose determination and approach was unquestionable in trying to get there. I wish to thank Eamon and his family most sincerely for his contribution to Tipperary. He gave his all unfailingly and I really appreciate it.”

Read more: Why John Hanbury's Tackle On Seamus Callanan Has Divided Football And Hurling People

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