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James Crombie/INPHO Breheny and Fergal Boland of Mayo during last year's Connacht championship quarter-final.
# Hanging up the boots
Gaelic football's longest-serving inter-county player calls it a day after 17 years
Sligo forward Mark Breheny has announced his retirement this morning.

SLIGO FOOTBALLER MARK Breheny is retiring from the inter-county game, he revealed this morning.

The forward made his National League debut for the Yeats men back in 2000 and went on to captain the county — helping them end a 32-year wait to win the Connacht title in 2007.

With Monaghan’s Dick Clerkin retiring in 2016, it left Breheny as the longest-serving current inter-county footballer in the country.

However, the 36-year-old tweeted this morning to announce that he is hanging up the boots.

“After 17 great years of playing Senior inter-county football with @sligogaa I wish to announce my retirement,” Breheny said. “It was always a huge privilege to represent Sligo at all levels. There were many highs and lows but I will always treasure the comradery I had with my team-mates.

Huge thanks to all my underage coaches at my club St Marys, who inspired and encouraged me to play and fall in love with this wonderful game.

“I wish to thank the County Board, Sligo fans and all the management teams for their encouragement to me and commitment to Sligo football.

“I began this journey making my debut in Navan during a National League game in October 2000 and it seems fitting that last summer, this same venue serves as the location for my final Championship game wearing the black and white jersey.

“To my wife Caroline, family and friends for their unconditional support throughout my playing career. I send my very best wishes to the current Sligo panel for a successful year ahead.

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“All great things must come to an end and I look forward to the next chapter! Thank you all.”

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