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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 9 August, 2020
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'They know they have someone looking down on them who soldiered with them'

Rachel Kenneally passed away in March at the age of 26, and Tipperary play in her memory.

'Rachel was very important to everybody involved.'
'Rachel was very important to everybody involved.'
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

TIPPERARY MANAGER SHANE Ronayne joined us on The Ladies Football Show earlier today and paid a lovely tribute to the late Rachel Kenneally.

The former Tipperary footballer passed away in March at the age of 26, casting a cloud of sadness over the ladies football community as a whole.

“It was a very tough time for a lot of the panel,” Ronayne told The42.

“The girls dealt with it very well, they’re a very resilient bunch. They know they have someone looking down on them now who played with them and soldiered with them. Rachel was very important to everybody involved.

“They’ve honoured her memory already. You don’t like to overplay it, but she is looking down on them and we know that.”

Kenneally, of the Aherlow club, lined out for Tipperary in the 2013 All-Ireland intermediate final in Croke Park and played for the senior team between 2009 and 2014.

She also had success at underage, club and college level, pocketing a handful of All-Ireland medals.

The ladies football community was again saddened as Cork ladies football stalwart Bridget O’Brien died two weeks ago.

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

From his previous involvement with the Rebels, Ronayne would have been close with O’Brien and also honoured her memory.

“She was a fantastic lady and she was brilliant to all of us,” he continued.

“She was like a mother to us all, you were treated like one of her own. She’s sadly missed and she won’t be forgotten, and Rachel won’t be forgotten.

“It just brings together the importance of sport at these tough times, that people can stick together and work their way through it. It just gives you a perspective on life.

“Rachel had a fantastic perspective on life. Even when she was sick, she was very positive all the time and that shone through to everybody who knew her. Our girls won’t forget her and she’s driving them on.”

Meath captain Niamh O’Sullivan also joined us on the show, as we previewed the weekend’s Lidl Ladies National Football League finals and much more, and you can watch it in full here:

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

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Emma Duffy

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