From the Evening Echo (28 November 2014)
End of an Era as Seán Óg Hangs Up His Boot
by John Horgan
SEÁN ÓG Ó hAILPÍN has played his last game for Na Piarsaigh.
The former Cork All-Ireland winning captain announced his retirement from the club scene last night on Newstalk and immediately afterwards the northside club paid a glowing tribute to one of their most decorated players of all time.
Club stalwart Bill Kelleher told the Evening Echo that he was a real idol in the club, giving unbelievable service during a career spanning over 20 years since he first burst on the scene. "What can I say, Seán Óg is an idol up here and he always will be. Since he retired from the inter-county scene he has put even more effort into the club.
"He's a role model in this club and still is and I have no doubt that will continue to be the case. He has always been at our beckoned call both as hurler and a footballer and his commitment was simply fantastic."
Ó hAilpín won two Cork County SHC medals with Na Piarsaigh in 1995 as an 18 year-old and in 2004 which led him to becoming the Cork captain the following year. He led the county to All-Ireland glory in Croke Park, survived a very bad car accident a number of years ago, but recovered to resume a GAA career that saw him recognised in all quarters.
Kelleher believed that his full recovery from that car accident illustrated the sheer dedication and willpower of the Fijian-born dual star.
"Absolutely, a lesser individual would not have recovered from that accident to be able to play hurling and football again at the top level, but Seán Óg put in an unbelievable effort to regain full fitness.
"He was a thorough professional on and off the field, no one knows the effort that man put in to become the great player that he was.''
Asked to single out one game that stood him apart, Kelleher believed that there were just too many.
"There were, the one thing that did stand him apart from others was his sheer consistency for us, that was his greatest attribute and that was evident in every game he played in the Na Piarsaigh colours.
"Now that he has decided to retire from the playing side; we wish him well, but I have no doubt that he will always be involved with us in the coaching side of things and we and our young players could not have a better person and role model involved.''