Birr mourns the loss of hugely popular hurling star

Pictured above: The late Adrian Cahill (front row, second from left) with his Birr team-mates. Adrian is pictured below in action for Birr in the 1995 All-Ireland club final - a photo which is on display inside the walls of Croke Park.

Birr GAA club - and the wider Offaly GAA community - has been plunged into mourning by the sudden death of Adrian Cahill.

Adrian, who was only 49 years old, died on Saturday last in Lanzarote where he has lived for the past few years.

Known to his wide circle of friends as 'Mongo', Adrian won All-Ireland minor hurling medals with Offaly in 1987 and 1989 (the team was captained by the great Brian Whelahan in the latter year).

Adrian went on to represent Offaly at U-21 and senior level. And despite suffering a broken leg which curtailed his inter-county career, Adrian won Leinster SHC and National League medals with Offaly.

He excelled during Birr's glory years and he scored six points in the 1995 All-Ireland final replay victory over Dunloy.

Paying tribute to the a hugely popular and now sadly departed figure, Birr GAA wrote on Twitter: "It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that everyone involved with Birr GAA Club learned of the sudden passing of our great gael, Adrian Cahill. Thoughts and prayers with the Cahill family, Bulfin Park during this dark time. RIP Mongo.

"Where do you start when trying to do justice to a larger than life character. Adrian had the skill most others could only dream of on the pitch and a heart of gold off it, with a sharp wit that always brought smiles to people's faces," the club statement continued.

Poignantly, on the day that Adrian died, his nephew Eoghan Cahill was top scorer on the Offaly hurling team which defeated Derry in the Christy Ring Cup.

Adrian's brother Gary has also given sterling service to Birr and Offaly. The father of the aforementioned Eoghan, Gary is the current manager of the Offaly U-20 hurling team.

Offaly GAA chairman Michael Duignan also tweeted a tribute: "Adrian was one of the best. He was a magnificent, skilful hurler. He got a couple of serious injuries at the wrong time, otherwise he would have been an automatic on our team of the '90s. Lovely, genuine fella. Condolences to all the family. RIP Adrian."

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