Lynch keeping his uncle's memory alive through his hurling 1 month ago

Lynch keeping his uncle's memory alive through his hurling

In many ways, Cian Lynch was born for days like these.

He was just seven years of age when, back in 2003, he had his first experience of county final Sunday. He was too small to fill out the Patrickswell kit he was wearing and he was too young to appreciate the occasion fully but with the crowd roaring and the excitement building, it was such a special moment that he'll never forget holding his uncle Paul Carey's hand as they walked around for the parade.

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As his uncle and as captain of the Patrickswell team, Carey was one of Lynch's heroes growing up but now the memory takes on an even greater significance. It was in 2018 when Paul Carey lost his life in a road accident in Dubai and as his nephew looks ahead to this Sunday's county final against Kilmallock, his late uncle is still there in his heart and mind.

 "Paul, God rest him, he was captain the same year. A lovely memory to have and, look, when you're growing up in an area like this, you look up to your uncle and local heroes in the club like Gary Kirby and Ciaran and Paul, the whole lot of them.

"And me togged out in my own little jersey and togs and socks and walking around with Paul was special and it is a memory that I'll cherish. I suppose when I look back on it and look back on the photos it shows you it's the cycle of life. 

 "It's coming up to the year anniversary now very soon. You're still trying to come to terms with it, the whole family are, but we just have to support each other and keep going."

It was the day before the 2018 Munster senior hurling final when Paul's funeral took place but just as his uncle would have wanted him to, Lynch hurled in his memory just like he has done ever since.

 "To be able to go out and then represent your club and play on the same field as these guys were playing on is special. Look, I'm honoured to be able to do that..."

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Cian Lynch pictured alongside his uncle Ciaran Carey, who was a brother of Paul's.

Paul Carey was part of a brilliant Patrickswell team and as is often the case in club GAA, the next generation has followed in the footsteps of those that hurled before them. Lynch was talking to us at the launch of the John West Féile and as he recalls his days as an underage hurler, he recalls growing up during Patrickswell's golden generation alongside Aaron Gillane and Diarmuid Byrnes.

"At that age when you go away on a Feile weekend it's your first time away from your home comforts, your parents. You're relying on each other and on your management and it does create a bond. We look back on those memories and we had great laughs. The messing we did and the craic we had, they're great memories."

"You start off hurling with your local club and primary school and for us it was in Patrickswell national school and the club. To get those underage memories are special. It's not all about winning at underage either, it's just about pushing yourself and enjoying all those experiences and that's what we've done.

 "As a kid you're dreaming of representing your club and on a day like this and we're very fortunate to be in this position. "

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"To sit back and have a laugh about those memories, that's what it's all about and those are the conversations we'll have in years to come, they'll be about those féile days and for the youngsters to play in it this year, it's special and I hope they enjoy it. Like, when you're training in the local pitch, in school, everywhere, you're pushing the guys beside you."

That's what they've done, and that's what's brought them here.

John West Féile Ambassador, Limerick hurler Cian Lynch, at the launch of John West Féile, 2021 at Croke Park. Celebrations of John West Féile’s 50th anniversary are taking place at Croke Park and Thurles over Halloween. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile.
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