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Retiring duo's 'unstinting commitment to Limerick hurling' hailed by management

John Kiely and his management team have paid tribute to Richie McCarthy and Paul Browne.

THE LIMERICK SENIOR hurling management team have today paid tribute to retiring duo Paul Browne and Richie McCarthy, who called time on their respective inter-county careers over the past week.

limerick Paul Browne and Richie McCarthy. Source: Inpho.

Both 2018 All-Ireland winners under John Kiely, Bruff midfielder Browne was the first to announce his departure, stating on Friday that “the time is right for me to step away.”

The 30-year-old soldiered with the side for 11 seasons, having made his championship debut in 2009. He left the set-up with two Munster medals (2013 and 2019), a Division 1 title — also from the season gone by — and a Division 2 honour from 2011, on top of that coveted Celtic Cross.

Vice-captain as Limerick ended a 45-year wait for Liam MacCarthy glory, Browne missed much of that season with a devastating cruciate injury.

On Monday afternoon, McCarthy followed his team-mate’s lead into inter-county retirement.

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The Blackrock defender dedicated 11 years of service to the county and was a permanent fixture at full-back through the years, though the end of his career was also hampered by a gut-wrenching injury.

The 32-year-old fan favourite ruptured his ACL late last year, but recently returned to steer his club to intermediate county championship glory and promotion to the senior ranks.

2013 All-Star McCarthy bows out with the same medal haul as Browne.

“It has been the wild dreams of a youngster from Kilfinane,” he wrote in a brilliant statement. “I am left with many great memories including the greatest of all when I was able to lift the Liam McCarthy in front of Hill 16.”

And the Limerick management team have penned an equally heartwarming statement for the dynamic duo.

john-kiely-celebrates-after-the-game Limerick manager John Kiely. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“The Limerick Senior Hurling Management and Backroom Team would like to pay tribute to Richie and Paul for their unstinting commitment to Limerick hurling throughout their outstanding careers,” the statement on the Limerick GAA website begins.

“In Richie we had one of the most skillful full backs to ever play the game. A great reader of the game who invariably put himself in the right place on the pitch. Richie loved being on the ball. He had a terrific first touch and his distribution of the ball was exemplary. His performances over the last decade were inspiring to not only his teammates but his legion of supporters up in the terrace.    

“Richie was a great example to the younger players joining the group in recent years. A great leader on the training pitch, often taking in-house games by the scruff of the neck.  He loved playing for Limerick and throughout his career he wore the jersey with great pride and distinction.  He really loved the big occasion and always delivered. 

“He worked tirelessly last season to return from his ACL injury and went on to have a superb season with his club Blackrock which epitomised the man.   

“We would like to wish Richie the very best for the future on and off the pitch.”   

It continued: “We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution make by Paul Browne over the last eleven years.   

“Paul has been a powerhouse at midfield throughout that time. A hard-running, ball of energy across the pitch, Paul did a fantastic job with tenacious defending and driving runs forward to feed the forward unit. A master of the breaking ball and always good for a couple of points when needed.  Paul had incredible turn of pace and skill in the middle of the field and this allowed him to make a significant impact in big games. 

limerick-celebrates-after-the-game-with-the-liam-maccarthy Celebrating the 2018 win. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“He was a work horse at training setting the tone in every session. A terrific leader, leading by example on the pitch and a selfless one off the pitch. This was epitomised in 2018 when Paul got his ACL injury mid-season. Paul immediately turned all his energies to helping the team in any way he could. It was a source of great pride to see him run out on to Croke Park on All Ireland final day in 2018. He truly deserved it. With Paul the team always came first, Limerick always came first.

“Again, Paul was a great example to our younger players in recent years, he led by example at all times.  He was incredibly generous with his time to our younger supporters and they returned their gratitude in spades when Paul needed them on match day.

“Brownie, we wish you the very best for the future. Enjoy the next chapter.”

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Emma Duffy

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