Eoin Price pays powerful tribute to Clonkill teammate Loughlin who did his cousin and family proud 2 years ago

Eoin Price pays powerful tribute to Clonkill teammate Loughlin who did his cousin and family proud

Sometimes, sport can be a welcome distraction.

Annabel Loughlin was tragically taken away from her community and from her family after a horrific accident last Friday. The three year-old Clonkill girl's funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon.

Annabel was the daughter of Enda Loughlin, a Clonkill and a Westmeath hurling great and it was with Annabel's families' blessing that the Leinster quarter final between Clonkill and Ballyboden St Enda's went ahead on Tuesday night.

Tuesday night in Parnell Park and the GAA community, the Clonkill community, and indeed her family did little Anabel proud.

Her cousins Luke and Adam Loughlin were a part of the Clonkill hurling team who went down, but who went down fighting against Ballyboden. Luke Loughlin led the Clonkill fight.

The 23-year-old, one of Westmeath's best footballers, scored 1-2 in the game, his second half goal dragging the Westmeath champions back into it when Ballyboden were threatening to take off.

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The Dublin men eventually prevailed after a titanic tussle in extra-time but the spirit, character and unity of this Clonkill group in the face of such grief was something else. It was summed up by that man Luke Loughlin, and his teammate Eoin Price paid tribute to Clonkill's biggest hero with some powerful words on Wednesday.

"I want to pay tribute to Luke Loughlin after what he did last night. Sport certainly isn't everything, but to see the pride this young man brought to so many people after such a hard week for his family is beyond belief. I've never been so proud to say I’m from Clonkill," he tweeted.

The Clonkill hurling manager Kevin O'Brien also tweeted about his pride in his team after a night when the result became an irrelevance and the GAA community came together in unity.