CONDOLENCES – We as a club and community were shocked and sad to hear of the untimely passing of Shane Kenny, Breska. As a club we offer our love and support to his parents Catherine & John, his brothers Des & Richie, their families and the extended Kenny & O’Brien Families and Shane’s friends. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.
THANKS – We must thank everyone who sent messages, emails, comments and by their presence offered an overwhelming amount of support. All of this will be passed onto the family.
After a week of considerable loss and grief in the parish, we would like to remember a son, brother, uncle, friend, neighbour and colleague, Shane Kenny.
Shane is a huge loss to Ballybrown GAA but it’s his parents Catherine & John, his brothers Des and Richard, Valerie and Gillian, and his nieces Saoirse and Croía and his nephews Fionn and James and to the extended Kenny, Lyons and O’ Brien families and his many friends that we must think of and support now and into the future.
On the field of play, Shane has been a key member of Ballybrown GAA club all his life. His loss as both a player and more importantly a person is difficult to fathom.
Shane was a natural leader for underage teams but also played ahead of his own age group in both hurling and football. He captained many underage teams and was a player that his teammates looked up to in every game.
Once he arrived onto adult teams he contributed to the successes of the club. He featured in 2012 as Ballybrown secured the Intermediate title and rightfully returned to the senior grade. Prior to this, he had played football and hurling from a very early age through all the grades. Ballybrown had been relegated in 2006 and it was the injection of young players like Shane that got us over the line.
2012 was also a special year as he lined out for Limerick U21s, as they faced Tipperary,
Despite starting out at junior level, briefly a few years earlier, it was clear that Shane was destined to join his brothers with Ballybrown’s flagship team. He played his first adult game at junior level against Na Piarsaigh. He was quickly promoted to the intermediate side and since then, all management teams have viewed Shane as integral to their chances of success.
In 2013, Shane was also listed at midfield for the Limerick U21 side, as they were defeated by Tipperary in the Munster quarter final. Shane scored 1-1. This goal was nominated for goal of the season by TG4 and what a highlight for Ballybrown, to see one of their own pulling off the spectacular in the home of hurling, Thurles.
He continued to be a key player for Ballybrown as they built on their experience at senior level.
In 2016, Shane started in the senior county final, alongside brothers Des and Richie. This no doubt a proud moment for their father John, who’d previously played in the biggest game in Limerick Club hurling. Shane played in midfield.
On route to the final, he had contributed to a fine string of victories over Bruree, South Liberties, Doon, Ahane and Adare as well as a nabbing a goal against reigning All Ireland club Champions Na Piarsaigh.
While Shane had played much of his hurling around the middle, especially at underage, it was his flexibility which made him so important to managers and selectors. He played at wing back, midfield, half forward, full forward, corner forward and just about everywhere there was a ball to be one. Strong under the high ball, his left hand rising highest to claim a puckout would be a familiar sight to Ballybrown supporters. He was no doubt a skilful hurler, capable of solo runs and taking his own score, though you always got a sense that what was best for Shane was best for Ballybrown. He was able to do the important unseen work of any player too, able to hook, block and work immeasurably hard for the white and green.
In 2019 was a particularly fruitful year playing closer to goal, scoring goals against Murroe Boher (1-3), Garryspillane (2-3), Monaleen (1-1) and a goal after just 20 seconds in the county quarter final against Doon. He also scored points against Knockainey (0-3) and Ahane (0-1). He was the top scorer from play, tormenting full-back lines all around him, after starting the season at midfield.
In 2020, he played a key role in victories over Blackrock and Garryspillane, as Ballybrown reached another quarter final before getting promoted to the top tier of senior hurling again, with a victory over South Liberties.
This was his final game of hurling for Ballybrown, and it was a successful one, raising a white flag in a victory that brought Ballybrown among the top six again.
While hurling was the focus he would continue intermittently playing football and in February 2018, scored the only goal of the as Ballybrown won the Munster Junior B football Championship.
His quick reactions to fist the ball to the net was the difference – the only Limerick team to win this title – thanks to Shane’s green flag. He ended the game with 1-2 to his name. He has scored 0-3 in the semi-final too, just for good measure. He shared this success with family and friends and it added to county honours secured a few months earlier.
Additionally, Shane played soccer for Breska Rovers, at both underage and adult level. In 2011/12 he helped the club to the Division Two League title, the most recent won by the club. Again, he played a variety of positions; centre back, midfield and on the wing, with his natural athleticism an asset to the team.
Ballybrown GAA would like to express thanks for the sincere sympathies shown by other clubs around the county, opposition players, the Limerick County Board just to name a few.
Shane enjoyed hunting locally and spent many mornings with his father and those in that circle locally and had built great friendships through this past time.
Also in touch with the club during this difficult week were Shane’s employers, AGC Instruments (Shannon), where his loss as both a colleague and a friend will be felt for a long time to come.
We hope that these words will offer some comfort to the family and friends and help acknowledge the tremendous service Shane gave to the club.
Rest easy Shane.
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