Charity man Corcoran will return for league opener
NIALL Corcoran jets off to Addis Ababa this Sunday on a charity mission with the blessing of Anthony Daly and will be back in time for Dublin's Allianz League opener against his native Galway on February 26.
The 29 year-old Kilmacud Crokes man has been given permission from Dublin management to head to the Ethiopian capital as part of a crew representing the 'Playing For Life' charity which includes Limerick's Gavin O'Mahony, Clare's John Conlon and former Banner goalkeeper Phillip Brennan.
The group plans to build a sports facility, work on farms, coach local youngsters and play a compromise rules match mixing hurling with local sport karsa in a once-off game against a local side which, Corcoran is told, is expected to attract 20,000 spectators.
"I am going to miss the first game of the Walsh Cup," Corcoran confirmed. "But I got the green light from Dalo to go so I couldn't say no to a chance like this. I will be back for the first round of the League. I think we land back on February 2. I am fundraising through local schools. The aim is to get €2,500 or maybe even more. It is going well so far so hopefully I can get there."
(Check www.mycharity.ie/event/playingforlife/ to make donations)
PJ RYAN has become the third member of Kilkenny's 2011 All-Ireland winning panel to retire from inter-county duty. The Fenians, Johnstown clubman joined Brian Cody's squad in 2002 and collected seven All-Ireland medals.
Having played understudy to James McGarry in the early part of his career, Ryan broke onto the starting 15 in '08 and started in goal in the third and fourth leg of Kilkenny's four-in-a-row.
"I leave with no regrets. I arrived with nothing but hope and I left with a pocketful of medals. I was blessed to be part of Kilkenny hurling during a golden era."