'They're not forgotten' - Kieran Martin hailed for Westmeath heroics after death of clubmate
'The GAA is so much more than just sport'.
Westmeath are the first ever Tailteann Cup champions, and Kieran Martin is the toast of the county.
'The Bear', as they affectionately call him, scored 1-4 as Westmeath beat Cavan at Croke Park to reward Jack Cooney's side for all their efforts.
The performance of Martin came just six days after the tragic passing of fellow Maryland clubman, Eoin Farrell. The 39-year-old passed away at South Westmeath Hospice last Sunday night, July 3, after a battle with cancer. He won a Leinster minor medal with Westmeath, in 2000.
Following that Westmeath victory, Martin headed to the stands to embrace Tom Farrell, the father of 'Eoinie'. Tears flowed freely, and Farrell, deeply felt and appreciated the gesture. As the county basked in that Tailteann Cup success, a spokesperson for Westmeath stated:
'Yesterday's Tailteann Cup Final hero Kieran 'The Bear' Martin showed great character to play just days after the death of his friend and Maryland clubmate Eoin Farrell.
'Martin was pictured at the end of the game at Croke Park embracing our former county chairman Tom Farrell (Eoin's father).
'The GAA is so much more than just sport, it helps bring people and communities together and creates friendships for life.'
Jack Cooney on Kieran Martin
Following his side's four-point win over Cavan, inspired by Kieran Martin and his scoring salvos, Jack Cooney told The Irish Examiner:
"Kieran lost a good friend last week in Maryland, 'Eoinie' Farrell. We spoke about that during the week, as we did with [the passing of] Enda Mulvihill the previous week. They're not forgotten."
"Last year," Cooney then told RTE, "Kieran got a horrendous injury, probably a career-ending injury, but he loves his county. He shows it every time he togs and I’m delighted for him that he’s able to show how much it means to him to play for Westmeath."
Back in Westmeath, late on Saturday evening, you did not need much telling about how much this silverware means to the county.
Tailteann Cup Winners 2022!! #westmeath #homecoming #tailteanncup pic.twitter.com/tse0EcjRjZ
— Westmeath GAA (@westmeath_gaa) July 9, 2022
'B' championship? To the Westmeath faithful, give it whatever letter or name you like, this means an awful lot.