Retiring Kilkenny star Eoin Larkin discusses peacekeeping experiences in Syria

Wing forward called time on his intercounty career on Friday

Eoin Larkin, Kilkenny

Eoin Larkin ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Eoin Larkin says he feels the time is right to draw his highly successful Kilkenny senior hurling career to a close.

The eight-time All-Ireland winner announced his retirement from inter-county hurling. 

A two-time All-Star, the wing-forward turned 32 during the 2016 championship and feels the time is right to leave the scene.

"It's very emotional. No one wants to retire from inter-county hurling when they enjoy it so much but I just feel the time is right now to leave the stage and get on with life," he said on Off The Ball.

"I've been thinking about it for a while and yesterday I was just thinking about it again. It just felt right and I announced today, and I'm happy with the decision."

Outside of hurling for club and county, Larkin is a serving soldier who has taken part in peacekeeping missions to Syria's Golan Heights, Lebanon and Kosovo.

"That just happens to be my job and I was in Syria at the start of the year and when you're out there looking at the people out there and the struggles they're going through, it certainly hits home to what we have here and what we live in as regards a steady kind of a life. Their lives are upside-down out there so that's really the one thing I took from it, to really appreciate what you have at home," he said, explaining the main task in the Golan Heights was to patrol the border.

"It's very hostile out there and things are really up in the air so you just have to be prepared for when something does happen and do all the training required and we're very equipped to do the job we're doing out there and get lots of training before we go out so we're ready for these situations."

With the Syrian Civil War ongoing and bordering the Golan Heights, Larkin said it can be very tense in the area.