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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018
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Some of Gaelic football's biggest names hung up their inter-county boots in 2015

Meath, Derry and Dublin among those counties hit hardest.

1. Ger Brennan – Dublin

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The St Vincent’s centre-back called time on his Dublin career at the start of October following a lengthy period of injury problems.

Brennan won two All Ireland medals with the Dubs (2011 and 2013) as well as five Leinster medals and a National League title.

2. Kevin Reilly – Meath

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The Meath full-back was another who suffered with injury for a number of years. It was a persistent hip injury that eventually ended the 29-year-old’s career, however that came after a horror run of back, Achilles and knee problems.

The former Royals captain has won four Meath SFC titles with Navan O’Mahony’s to go alongside a Leinster championship medal in 2010 and eight appearances for Ireland in International Rules.

3. Fergal Doherty – Derry

Source: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Doherty has been one of the most influential inter-county midfielders for over a decade. He made his championship debut for Derry in 2001 and was nominated for an All Star on four occasions.

The hugely popular Bellaghy man decided to hang up his boots in October due to injury problems and work commitments.

4. Stephen Bray – Meath

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

When Bray kicked four points from play for a victorious Navan O’Mahony’s in this year’s Meath county final, he was already a month into inter-county retirement.

The mercurial forward lit up the Leinster championship on numerous occasions and like club-mate Kevin Reilly, he captained his county during a decorated career. An All Star in 2007, Bray (33) won the Leinster championship with Meath in 2010 and has three county titles to his name.

5. Finnian Moriarty – Armagh

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Moriarty’s proudest moment in an Armagh jersey was an Under-21 All Ireland win in 2004. The Wolfe Tone man was a feature of the Orchard county panels for a number of years and won two Ulster senior football medals and a National League.

6. Paul Barden – Longford

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

One of Longford’s best footballers in recent memory called time on his inter-county career in February. The 34-year-old made his debut in 1999 and was a member of Ireland’s International Rules squad in 2002 and 2006.

He won an O’Byrne Cup medal in 2000 and has claimed three Longford senior championships with his club Clonguish.

7. Bryan Cullen – Dublin

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Cullen announced his retirement at the start of this year and as Dublin reclaimed Sam Maguire he may be regretting it. The classy distributor played in the half-back and half-forward lines for the Dubs, winning two All-Ireland medals, including one as captain in 2011.

Also on the Copper Face Jacks gold card holder’s CV  are 10 Leinster titles and two National Leagues during his 11 years at inter-county level.

8. Mick Foley – Kildare

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Foley was another big-name inter-county withdrawal at the beginning of the year following a career that included an All Star in 2011.

The Athy defender’s career began in 2004 but was relatively short of silverware – O’Byrne Cup wins in 2013 and 2014 being the highlights.

9. Rory Donnelly – Clare

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Donnelly retired from inter-county football in October. The forward said the main reasons for his departure were injury issues and due to him currently living in Meath.

The Cooraclare clubman had been a regular Banner panelist since 2003 and won a Sigerson Cup medal with IT Sligo.

10. Stephen Lucey – Limerick

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The Limerick dual star had a remarkable 17-year inter-county career although it was relatively short on success.

Lucey last represented the Limerick senior hurlers in 2011 and was playing inter-county football up to last season. However, at 35 years old and struggling with injury, the Croom clubman decided to call it a day last month.

11. Gary Connaughton – Westmeath

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Connaughton retired earlier this month after 13 seasons at inter-county level.

An AllStar in 2008 and a Leinster medal winner in 2004, Connaughton was one of the country’s best goalkeepers for a number of years.

The Tubberclair man originally retired in 2013 before returning last season – however he has opted out again to focus on his career.

12. Alan Brogan – Dublin

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Brogan had to wait long enough to get his hands on the All-Ireland trophy but wins in 2011, 2013 and 2015 see him retire a happy man. And that is without mentioning his 11 Leinster titles, three AllStars and three National League titles

The 2011 Footballer of the Year decided not to play on for Jim Gavin’s side in 2016 midway through this month. And his last contribution to Dublin football as a player was tagging on a crucial score in the 2015 All-Ireland final against Kerry.

The Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh man plans to keep lining out at club level but felt that 13 years of inter-county football was his limit.

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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