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'It's a dark place to be in' | Jackie Tyrrell on losing All-Ireland finals

Ryan Clarke
Ryan Clarke

12:51 14 Aug 2019


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For all his success, it is his failures that stand out most clearly in the mind of Jackie Tyrrell.

It’s not the nine All-Ireland winners medal that comes to Tyrrell’s mind when he looks back on his career, but the times he and Kilkenny came up short. 

It’s clear to see it haunts him when he talks about it. The engaging man that chats about Kilkenny’s chances in the All-Ireland final turns into a person that stares blankly into space.

“Unfortunately when I think of my career it’s the ones I lost that jump out at me quicker than the ones I won,” Tyrrell admitted on Wednesday's OTB AM.

Perhaps the defeat that stings him more than others is when Tipperary derailed their eternal rivals on the cusp of history.

“When you’re kneeling down in Croke Park, the rain coming down on your back, blue and gold confetti everywhere and Tipperary have stopped you doing five-in-a-row, it’s a dark place to be in.

“I’ll always remember it. It’s still vivid with me, I can still remember it. That was probably one of the toughest ones. We’d look back on that and have no qualms about it, Tipperary were the better team,” Tyrrell said.

"It steeled our mentality"

That defeat has left its mark on Tyrrell. He admits that he still thinks about it and that he hasn’t fully gotten over it either after all this time.

This episode added another edge to Kilkenny’s mindset according to Tyrrell. For them, they never wanted to experience the pain of such a defeat ever again.

“I always remember when we drew Tipperary in the first round of the league down there. 

“To stand there and clap Tipperary out into Thurles on a wet night in February we bottled all that stuff into our mentality and no way were we going through this again.

“It steeled out mentality something fierce and we couldn’t wait to get at Tipperary again,” he said

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