Late Damian Casey named on Ring, Rackard and Meagher Team of the year for fourth successive year
The late Tyrone hurler Damian Casey has been named at wing forward on the Ring, Rackard and Meagher Team of the Year selection for 2022.
It's the fourth year in a row that he's made the team. The 29-year-old Dungannon hero passed away in June, just one month after he inspired his county to victory in the Nickey Rackard Cup final against Roscommon.
Casey scored 0-14 that day and in a career that saw him amass 39-894 in 100 inter-county appearances, he is widely regarded as Tyrone's greatest ever hurler.
Damian's father Sean accepeted the Irish News Hurler of the Year award on his behalf recently and he spoke of how much it meant for his son to win that second Nickey Rackard cup.
"He was a family lad, there was nothing he wouldn't do for anybody. And that showed through in his game. I shook hands with Damian after the Nickey Rackard final and that handshake was all about satisfaction because Damian had reached his pinnacle. He had loved his game in every aspect, and I knew he could take a bit easy now, because to get there, there were ten or 12 hard years.
Sean Casey father of Damian Casey RIP speaks of his Sons love for Hurling & his desire to drive on the playing of the small ball game in his beloved County. Sean accepts the Irish News Hurler of the year award 2022 on behalf of Damian RIP
Tyrone's greatest ever Hurler. pic.twitter.com/qjqXXOjxyN
— Tyrone GAA (@TyroneGAALive) October 1, 2022
Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Larry McCarthy also heralded the late great.
"In celebrating this occasion we also pause to acknowledge the empty chair that should have been filled by the great Damian Casey and honour his memory and keep him and his loved ones in our thoughts and prayers," said Larry McCarthy.
As did GPA CEO Tom Parsons, who paid a lovely tribute.
“I want to celebrate the life and hurling talents of the late, great Damian Casey," added Tom Parsons.
"He again showed in 2022 that he was a hurler that would grace any team or competition.
"But more than that, he was a son and a brother, a teammate and a friend, a leader and a role model.
"Awards seem insignificant given the loss his parents Seán and Susan and his sisters Louise and Catherine are faced with, but I hope this award will act as a reminder to them of the esteem Damian was held in by the Gaelic games family. He will never be forgotten by his fellow players," concluded the Mayo man.
Casey is joined by his Tyrone team-mates Dermot Begley and Chris Kearns on the team, while Mayo's Keith Higgins was also chosen for the second straight year. Having won the Christy Ring Cup, Kildare are the strongest represented county on the team with Naas' dual double winners Brian Byrne and James Burke joined by Paul Divilly, Paddy McKenna and Rian Boran.
Ring, Rackard and Meagher Team of the Year
1. Paddy McKenna (Kildare/Ring)
2. Dermot Begley (Tyrone/Rackard) (Previous winner in 2018)
3. Rian Boran (Kildare/Ring) (Previous winner in 2020)
4. Mark Craig (Derry/Ring)
5. Chris Kearns (Tyrone/Rackard)
6. Paul Divilly (Kildare/Ring) (Previous winner in 2020)
7. Padraig Kelly (Roscommon/Rackard)
8. Paddy Lynam (Longford/Meagher)
9. Keith Higgins (Mayo/Ring) (Previous winner in 2021)
10. Brian Byrne (Kildare/Ring)
11. Andy Kilcullen (Sligo/Ring)
12. Damian Casey (Tyrone/Rackard) (Previous winner in 2019, 2020 & 2021)
13. James Burke (Kildare/Ring) (Previous winner in 2020)
14. Darren Geoghegan (Louth/Meagher)
15. Daniel Glynn (Roscommon/Rackard)