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Kiernan plays in win over All-Ireland semi-finalists just three months after chemotherapy

The Cavan man, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in August, started in the victory against Monaghan.

Cavan's Oisin Kiernan (file pic).
Cavan's Oisin Kiernan (file pic).
Image: INPHO

A FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP win against neighbours Monaghan in 18 years was particularly significant for Cavan’s Oisin Kiernan.

The Castlerahan man started at corner-forward on the team that recorded a 1-13 to 0-12 victory at Kingspan Breffni Park last night.

Just three months after finishing chemotherapy treatment, Kiernan can now look forward to an Ulster semi-final against the winners of today’s game between Down and Armagh.

Last August, Kiernan was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Thankfully he received the all-clear after his last chemo session in February. Last night he was savouring a long-awaited triumph over last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists. 

“What rocked me more was the reaction of everyone else,” Kiernan told Sky Sports when discussing his illness after the game. “My father had it as well. Going over in the car that day to get the news, it was calm enough. It was just [a case of] get the operation, get it done.

“Then I thought I might be in the clear, but I had to get chemo then. It was the same. ‘Get it done, get back to normal’. But it’s been the reaction of everyone else and the support which has been unbelievable.”

Kiernan made a swift return to the Cavan jersey once his treatment was completed. He was back in action for his county as a second-half substitute in their Allianz League defeat to Dublin on 24 March.

“After the first session of chemo, it wasn’t too bad,” he said. “It didn’t have much of an effect on me, so I trained away. I just took it as it came. The hair started to fall out obviously.

“But I kept training away just as I could. Once I got the last [chemo] session done in February, I went flat out and got the all-clear in March, so it’s all good since then.”

He added: “It was about building the fitness back up. I was feeling good. Coming into the Dublin game, the energy was starting to come back. A few weeks later, you’re back to normal really. It’s been all good.

“When I got the all-clear, I think it was more the relief for everyone else; my family and friends and girlfriend. It was just brilliant to get that [news], and get ready to go then.”

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Paul Dollery

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