Ciaran McDonald had a great career in the Tipperary jersey.
One of the great Tipperary footballers of the present generation, Aherlow's Ciaran McDonald, has announced his retirement from inter-county football
Ciarán made his senior intercounty championship debut in 2008 against Limerick and it was obvious straight away that he was a special talent.
A tenacious corner back, his performances for both Tipperary and Aherlow have been extraordinary and one of his proudest moments came in 2010 in Austin Stack Park, Tralee when he led the under-21s to their first ever Munster title overcoming the Kingdom 1-7 to 1-6.
In 2014, he represented a successful Irish team in the International Rules series against Australia. His final game in the blue and gold came in the All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo in 2016.
Manager Liam Kearns has paid tribute to McDonald, and referenced the 2010 Munster under-21 final when, during a break in play, McDonald got down on the ground in front of his marker and proceeded to do a number of press ups and in the process totally out psyched his opponent.
“It was his leadership skills that made him stand out” commented Kearns. “Whenever there was a meeting and the players wanted to speak, you may have noticed that I always made sure Ciarán spoke last. That was because what he had to say would leave an impression. There were times when he left us with tears in our eyes”.
Kearns went on to reveal that McDonald’s only physical training in the run to the All-Ireland semi-final in 2016 “was done in the pool and on the exercise bike” and yet it was a measure of the man that he was consistently Tipperary’s best defender in those games.
“We always put him on the best inside forward and no one ever got the better of him”.