Hanniffy bows out

April 03, 2008

Birr and Offaly's Gary Hanniffy
Still reeling from their relegation to Division 2 of the NHL, Offaly have suffered another severe blow with the news that Gary Hanniffy has retired from inter-county hurling. The Birr clubman, who turns 31 on Friday, has informed Offaly manager Joe Dooley of his decision, and his retirement severs the last remaining link with Offaly's 1998 All-Ireland winning team. A powerful presence of the '40', Hanniffy's finest performance in an Offaly jersey came in the 2000 All-Ireland semi-final victory over Cork when he ran no less a player than Brian Corcoran ragged. Hanniffy has been working in Cork for the past three years as an environmental adviser and revealed this was a major factor in his decision to quit. "I'm in Cork three years now and I'm not getting any quieter in the job. There's no getting away from the fact that it's 130 miles away from home," he said. "Inter-county is a completely different level of commitment than club all the way through the summer and in and out of the gym. You don't complain about it because you're enjoying it when you're doing it." Hanniffy confirmed that he will continue to line out for Birr, who he captained to All-Ireland club glory in 2003. "It's been a double-edged sword because we've had huge success with Birr and limited success with Offaly but at the end of the day it was always a privilege to pull on the Offaly jersey and I suppose that's why I did it."

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