Cork hurling legend Seánie O’Leary dies aged 69

O’Leary won eight All-Irelands across three levels including four Liam McCarthy medals

Seánie O’Leary has died aged 69. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Seánie O’Leary has died aged 69. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

The death at the age of 69 has taken place of one of Cork’s most decorated hurlers, Seánie O’Leary.

A top-class goal scorer, who played corner forward for the county, he won eight All-Irelands between minor, under-21 and senior.

Four of those were Liam MacCarthy medals, including Cork’s three-in-a-row in 1976-78 and the Centenary final in 1984. Over those matches he accumulated 3-5. His senior career began in 1971 and also featured nine Munster titles and four league medals.

In an incident before the 1977 All-Ireland final, against Wexford, he was hit on the nose during the pre-match puck-around and missed the parade while receiving medical attention. Christy Ring, then a selector is reputed to have told him: “Get back out there. You don’t hurl with your nose.”

O’Leary obliged with 1-2.

A member of the Youghal club, he went on to be involved as a selector with the All-Ireland winning managements of Jimmy Barry-Murphy in 1999 and of Dónal O’Grady five years later.

His son Tomás captained Cork to All-Ireland minor success in 2001 before switching sports and becoming a professional rugby player with Munster for whom he won a European Cup medal in 2008 and for Ireland as a Grand Slam winner the following year.

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