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'Memories banked to last a lifetime' - All-Ireland winning Cavan great retires after 19 seasons

Five-time All-Star nominee Aisling Doonan brings the curtain down on a colourful inter-county career.

Long-serving Cavan star Aisling Doonan (Maguire).
Long-serving Cavan star Aisling Doonan (Maguire).

CAVAN LADIES FOOTBALL legend Aisling Doonan (Maguire) has announced her retirement from inter-county football after a remarkable 19 seasons.

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association [LGFA] released a statement this afternoon confirming the news, and paying tribute to “one of the most naturally gifted forwards to grace our playing fields in recent times”.

Doonan, 33, finishes up as an All-Ireland intermediate champion — she was named Player of the Match in that 2013 Croke Park decider — a five-time All-Star nominee, and a seven-time Team of the League award recipient.

Having made her senior inter-county debut in 2002, the long-serving Templeport star was captain of the Breffni team that lost out to Westmeath in the 2011 All-Ireland intermediate final after a replay.

Two years later, she again starred along the journey and scored 0-4 against Tipperary in a stunning final performance as Cavan lifted the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup.

A central figure for the county for so long, whose lethal left boot caused serious damage, Doonan was named on the Division 2 National League Team of the Year four years in-a-row from 2015 to 2018, adding to her previous honours at that level in ’11 and ’10 and Division 3 recognition in ’1o.

She also bows out with three Ulster intermediate crowns, a Division 3 league title from 2010 and several interprovincial medals with Ulster.  

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“The time is right to call time on my inter-county career with Cavan,” Doonan said, having last donned the blue jersey in the 2020 National League after an injury sustained on the club scene ruled her out of last year’s championship.

I’ve enjoyed some terrific days and there are memories banked to last a lifetime.

“It’s been an incredible journey and I’d like to wish our new county team manager Gerry Moane and all of the girls the very best for the 2021 season.”

Doonan will continue to play club football with her beloved Templeport, and is based in Cavan working as a sports development officer with Cavan Sports Partnership after a three-year stint as a staff member with the LGFA.

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Emma Duffy

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