David Hennessy was there to meet Eoin Larkin and David Herity, two members of Kilkenny’s All-Ireland winning team of 2014. Guests of the Kilkenny GAA Supporters Club London Branch, Eoin and Larkin were at Hennessys in Kingsbury for a Q and A and marched with the Liam MacCarthy Cup in the London parade.
There was a great turn out at Hennessys in Kingsbury on Saturday evening for the Kilkenny Supporters Club victory dance. Special guests were Kilkenny hurlers David Herity and Eoin Larkin who were pleased to meet their London based fans and pose for numerous pictures.
Herity: ‘I knew I was gone’
David Herity, a member of the Kilkenny panel since 2003, called time on his inter-county career after the most recent championship. He told The Irish World about the highs of his time wearing the black and amber and also about the decision to walk away
David Herity relives the moment he knew he would have to bring to an end his time hurling with Kilkenny: “We played against WIT in Waterford and for the year and a half, I needed a shoulder operation and that night, I got back into the car and I said: ‘I don’t care what happens, whether I play on the team ever again or whether we win the All Ireland or I get Player of the Year, I’m retiring at the end of the year’. It was too much pain and that was it.
“That was January 2014. I knew I was gone so you get to enjoy all the training sessions, all the matches, it still doesn’t make it any less sad at the end of the year even when you win, when you’re leaving the pitch or you’re leaving the dressing room for the last time and you know it’s the last time, there is that bitter sweet feeling about the whole thing.
“There’s a time you know realistically the time is right, you move on, you go back with your club and you know what’s right but it’s great to enjoy other things like this. To be able to come here tonight, actually enjoy and celebrate, enjoy a few drinks with people that love the GAA as much as you do.”
Asked for his highlight of his time playing for Brian Cody’s Kilkenny, David does not choose the 2011 or 2012 All Ireland victories, although these are special: “I would go all the way back to 2003, we played Dublin in a Leinster Under 21 final. Tommy Walsh sent me a text the next day and goes, ‘we are finally going to play in an All Ireland final’. We had played three years minor together and never got to an All Ireland final and finally we were going to get to an All Ireland final so it was amazing.
“Playing my first game senior ever against Wexford down in Wexford Park was amazing. Those moments are amazing. Leinster final the first year, 2011, was great because I had finally won a trophy with Kilkenny but what I always found was winning in September with Kilkenny was always bitter sweet. You won and that was fantastic but I always wanted to go out the following week and train with the lads again but it was like, that’s it. I’m very strange, I understand that, but I just wanted to keep winning and winning and winning. I would just like to keep playing away with the team that I’m playing with and keep winning and the great thing about Kilkenny is that there’s always a constant drive to win.”
Larkin: ‘Always a pleasure’
Seven time All Ireland winner Eoin Larkin gave us his thoughts on Henry Shefflin’s future, replacing the experience Kilkenny have lost and the unenviable task of following Brian Cody
“It’s always a pleasure coming over here,” Eoin told The Irish World. Eoin made a similar trip in late 2012 when he was Kilkenny and All Ireland-winning captain with Paul Murphy. “There’s a good few Kilkenny people over here and I think hurling people in general like to see the cup. I’m delighted to be over here really.”
Asked if he would be watching the club final involving Ballyhale Shamrocks, Eoin said: “I will, of course. The lads are involved Tuesday so I’ll have to look at it and hope they can do their best. We’re obviously looking forward to them coming back in. First and foremost they have to do their thing with the club and we’ll be hoping they can do the business on Tuesday.”
Everyone is waiting for news on Henry Shefflin’s Kilkenny future. Although he could shed no light on Henry’s plans, Eoin did reveal the decision he wants to hear: “I’m afraid I’m no wiser than anyone else but I certainly hope he does come back because I think he still has a lot to offer to the game and he’s been a fantastic servant over the last number of years, I certainly think he has a lot more to offer. I hope he does come back.”
For the full report, interviews and more photos, see the March 21 Irish World.