Cathal Barrett back in Tipperary fold as John O'Keeffe announces retirement from county scene

Cathal Barrett back in Tipperary fold as John O'Keeffe announces retirement from county scene

Tipperary hurler Cathal Barrett in action in the 2016 All Ireland final win over Kilkenny.

 

Outstanding corner back Cathal Barrett has rejoined the Tipperary senior hurling panel after missing most of last season.

Meanwhile another Tipperary player John O'Keeffe has announced his retiremement from the inter-county scene.

Former Young Hurler of the Year, and considered one of the top corner backs in the game, Barrett was injured in the Munster championship defeat to Cork and later dropped from the panel for disciplinary reasons.

There were many suggestions that Tipperary's hopes of retaining the All Ireland title diminished in the absence of the Holycross-Ballycahill man.

Clonoulty-Rossmore's John O'Keeffe, who won an All Ireland medal alongside Barrett in 2016, is stepping aside from the county scene.

He says he steps away from inter-county action, happy in the knowledge that he gave his best at all times and enjoyed every aspect of it.

"I’d like to thank especially Tipperary Co. Board, Tipperary Supporters Club, the various backroom teams and all those who also contributed in any way that helped me and the teams I played with. The support from the Tipp following was also very much appreciated.

"I would like to thank all the players I played with for their support and friendships that will last a lifetime.

"To the various Tipp management teams, I thank you most sincerely and in that I especially acknowledge my fellow clubman Declan Ryan who introduced me initially, to the Tipperary set up. 

"At the time, it was an enormous honour for me to be drafted into an All-Ireland winning panel and I will always hold it special. The highlight of my career was undoubtedly in 2016 and winning an All-Ireland winners medal under the management and guidance of Mick Ryan and his team.

"I also wish to thank my club Clonoulty-Rossmore, my parents and family for the support and encouragement they gave me at all times.  Furthermore, I am very grateful to Dinny Maher and my fellow GDA’s for their cooperation and assistance during the last couple of years.

Finally, I’d like to wish the panel I leave and to those that may join them, the very best of luck for 2018 and onwards.

O'Keeffemade his senior competitive debut for Tipperary in the 2011 Allianz Hurling League against Waterford and in May of that year made his championship debut at wing back in the Munster Championship Quarter-Final victory over Cork.

John has one All-Ireland Senior Hurling winner's medal (2016) and 3 Munster Championship medals (2011, '12 & '16). John also won an All-Ireland Minor Hurling medal in 2006 and a Munster U21 medal in 2008.