“It was just absolutely brilliant for the parish to experience something like that and we’d love to be able to do it again.”
Kilkenny hurler Padraig Walsh is one of the best defenders in Ireland. The Tullaroan native has won two All-Ireland titles with Kilkenny, along with four Leinster championships.
However, the highlight of Walsh’s hurling career was the 2019-2020 club season when Tullaroan won an All-Ireland Intermediate Championship.
Tullaroan beat Fr. O’Neills in 2020 All-Ireland club final.
“It’d have to be the All-Ireland and the county final with Tullaroan,” Walsh said when asked what was the highlight of his career.
“Just because we went through so much hardship the previous years before that.
“To finally get over the line and see what it meant to everyone, and then you’re playing with your best friends and all the people you grew up with, your family as well, that’s definitely my number one highlight so far.
“It was really special. We were waiting a long time for a victory like that. To win the county final is very special so to go all the way to Croke Park was very special. We timed it right, it was just before covid so we got to celebrate it.
“It was brilliant. It gave a real lift to the entire community of Tullaroan. Everyone was on a real high after it. It was just absolutely brilliant for the parish to experience something like that and we’d love to be able to do it again.
“Hopefully, things are looking up at the moment so we’ll be getting back to celebrating like that again soon.”
Padraig Walsh won All-Ireland titles in 2014 and 2015.
Four Walsh brothers played on that Tullaroan team that won the All-Ireland.
2020 was an incredibly successful year for the Walsh household, as two members of the family were prominent members of the Kilkenny camogie team that won the All-Ireland.
Padraig’s sister Grace and his first cousin Miriam Walsh won All-Ireland medals with Brian Dowling’s group last year.
Grace Walsh worked on the front line as a nurse and her brother could see how difficult it was for the Kilkenny camogie star during the pandemic.
Grace Walsh starred for Kilkenny in 2020 as well as working on the front line.
“We could see how tough it was on nurses and people in hospitals with the hard work they’re doing.
“There were so many times she (Grace) had to self-isolate just because of being close contacts, so she would have been on to us about the importance of being careful,” he said.
“The social media is great though, we had family WhatsApp to keep in contact with her, video calls.
“It was tough, but she’d be back down in Kilkenny a lot now for training and she’d be sure to call out to Mam and Dad, because it’s tough on them to sit at home and to see Grace up in Dublin working in a hospital, they’d be very worried.
“So to see things coming back to normal is great.”
Padraig Walsh is one of the best half-backs in the country and his older brother Tommy is one of the best hurlers of all time.
There is not a better hurling household in Ireland.
Littlewoods Ireland is proud to support both Camogie and Hurling for a 5th year running. The Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League final is live on RTE this Sunday the 20th June at 7.30pm while the Division 2, 3 and 4 finals will be streamed live on LWI_GAA Twitter. The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship begins Saturday 26th of June #StyleOfPlay.