Hurling & Camogie

Tipperary hurlers drawing inspiration from memory of Dillon Quirke in Munster title pursuit

Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke, who passed away last year
Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke, who passed away last year Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke, who passed away last year

LIAM Cahill’s Tipperary squad have endeavoured to create a supportive environment in which the legacy of Dillon Quirke remains central to the dressing room culture.

As the Premier hurlers prepare to visit Cork on Saturday, Cahill spoke about the raw moments when the panel addressed the subject of their fallen team-mate and the tough days when his loss is called to mind.

The Tipperary manager was speaking at the launch of the Dillon Quirke Foundation fundraising drive, which is calling on GAA clubs and individuals to donate €100 to the family’s campaign to ensure every GAA player over the age of 12 is cardiac screened.

“At the start of the year we spoke about him a little bit and it was emotionally raw in our squad with everybody,” said Cahill at Clonoulty-Rossmore’s Dillon Quirke GAA Grounds.

“It was really a case of putting it out there and making sure everybody knew that if anything ever bothered them in relation to Dillon’s passing, we had one another to talk to and that is what we do.

“We are together in everything we do; it is not just about hurling in there. We like to think we are together as regards watching out for one another as well.

“That is what it is about, making sure that we don’t try to hide or bury Dillon’s passing, that we are comfortable with it as best we can and open up to one another when the tough days come.

“And there are tough days when you are donning the jersey and look at the dressing room corner where he used to sit, that is not easy. Whatever about me as the manager, but for his friends and colleagues.

“That’s something we will have to learn how to manage and control our emotions as best we can and put it into a positive and I know Dillon would want us to do that.”

The launch was attended by Tipperary hurlers Cathal Barrett, Enda Heffernan, Jack Ryan, and Craig Morgan. 

Kilruane defender Morgan was marking Quirke the day he tragically passed away while captaining his club at Semple Stadium.

Cahill gave a positive injury update on Morgan, who ruptured cruciate knee ligaments last August.

“It’s still a bit soon for Craig but he’s nearly there and making great progress,” said Cahill.

“Seamus Callanan is the same. I don’t think Seamie will be ready to start but he is making good progress as well. Thankfully, we are getting a few players back.”

Cahill also confirmed his team selections will be announced in time for the GAA’s Friday deadline in future. For the Clare match, Cahill had named his panel from no.1 to 26 in alphabetical order.

“In the GAA, we try and stay as traditional as we can for as

long as can. It was just circumstances outside of our control that week.

“I took no pleasure in having to do what we did, it is not our style, and it has been no previous Tipperary manager’s style in hurling or football to play mind games like that.

“It was perceived in the media and the public as playing mind games, it wasn’t anything to that effect. It was just getting caught with the new ruling from Croke Park and making sure our players were aligned first before the team was given to the media.

“But we will be reverting back to the traditional 1-15 and panel numbers for the Cork match and will continue to abide by Croke Park from here on it.”

Ronan Maher is in the midst of a busy week ahead of that game, with his brother, and Tipperary selector, Paudie getting married on


“If they come back in the form John Conlon came back in, we’ll have no problems whatsoever,” said Cahill.

“We wish Paudie and Claire the very best of luck on Thursday, it is a big day for them.

“Ronan will be rushing through the speech and getting back for training on Thursday night.”