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2013 Clare All-Ireland winning captain brings inter-county career to an end

Pat Donnellan is bowing out.

PATRICK DONNELLAN, THE man who lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup after Clare’s triumph in 2013, has brought his inter-county hurling career to an end.

Patrick Donnellan lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup Pat Donnellan celebrating in September 2013. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The O’Callaghan Mills club man has become the third Banner player to retire over the past week after Brendan Bulger retired last Wednesday and Colin Ryan, who had taken a year out this season, retired last Friday.

Donnellan made his senior championship debut for the Banner against Cork back in 2006 and went on to enjoy his greatest campaign in 2013, as he captained Clare to the All-Ireland title and won an All-Star that year at left half-back for his defensive exploits.

Patrick Donnellan Pat Donnellan in action in the 2013 All-Ireland final replay against Cork. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Since that All-Ireland triumph, Donnellan suffered a setback in January 2016 when he tore his cruciate in a challenge game with Clare. He missed the remainder of the season and although he returned to action in 2017, he did not see game time in this year’s championship.

Donnellan was one of the most experienced members of the Clare hurling setup, himself and Bugler both lined out in the 2008 Munster final loss to Tipperary. That was Clare’s last provincial decider appearance until they contested this July’s final against Cork.

In an official statement released by the Clare camp, Donnellan described himself as ‘a privileged person’ to have played for Clare and the 2013 success was ‘a dream come true’.

“I wish to sincere thank everyone that has helped me and made sacrifices on my behalf to ensure that I could represent Clare to the best of my ability. To my wife Edel, my parents, my brothers and sister I will be forever grateful.

“I will always consider myself a privileged person to have been able to play for Clare and I hope that I did my utmost for the cause while playing. It is hard to express in words what it meant to me, my family and my club to captain a Clare team.

“To be able to lift the Liam McCarthy on behalf of Clare and its people was a dream come true and I will always be thankful that I was considered worthy of the honour to be the representative of the Clare team by Davy Fitzgerald.

“Thank you to my club O’Callaghan’s Mills, to all of my former managers and coaches who instilled a love and respect for the game in me every day I took to the field.

“Thank you to Clare County Board, Club Clare Hurling Supporters and to all of the backroom staff who encouraged and supported me throughout my time with Clare. Thank you also to my employers and work colleagues in IAC for the wonderful support.

Domhnall O'Donovan and Patrick Donnellan celebrate at the end of the game Pat Donnellan celebrates Clare's 2013 All-Ireland semi-final win over Limerick. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“I would like to thank all of the players that I have played and trained with over the years. I always felt a sense of belonging and brotherhood in a Clare dressing room and I have been lucky to be friends and teammates with you all.

“Finally, I am looking forward to supporting the team from the stands into the future and I wish the Clare team and management all the best for 2018 and onwards. An Clár Abú.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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