Tipperary's Niall O'Meara has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.
The 30-year-old played a significant role in two Liam MacCarthy victories with the Tipperary hurling team. He entered the 2016 final against Kilkenny as a substitute and later started in the 2019 final, where he scored an impressive goal in the first half at Croke Park.
He also contributed to his club's success in winning the Tipperary senior hurling title last year. His senior hurling championship debut for Tipperary was in 2014 against Limerick.
At the youth level, he represented his county in both minor and U21 hurling, as well as U21 football. Additionally, he secured All-Ireland victory in the intermediate teams with Tipperary in 2013.
"He displayed remarkable versatility along with a brilliant attitude and a sharp hurling mind. Unfortunately, injuries over the last number of seasons denied us the opportunity to witness more of his exceptional talent in the Tipperary colours. I am certain that his outstanding qualities will enable him to make valuable contributions to Tipperary hurling in the future," said Tipperary boss Liam Cahill.
O'Meara expressed his thoughts in his retirement statement and admitted it was the right time to put his Tipperary kit and boots away for good.
"After some thought, I've decided the time is right for me to retire from inter-county hurling," said the Tipp star.
"For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to wear the blue and gold jersey, and luckily, since 2010 playing on the minor hurling and football teams, I had the opportunity, something I will always cherish."
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) November 3, 2023
O'Meara's statement also expressed gratitude to friends and family who helped him reach the levels he achieved.
"All of this could not have been done without the support of my amazing parents Theresa and my late dad Ger. They sacrificed a lot for me to achieve at the highest level. My two brothers Mark and Brian were also there for me throughout the journey. Thank you all!
"I would like to thank all the managers who gave me the chance to represent Tipperary, specifically Eamonn O'Shea who gave me my first opportunity, something I will always be proud of. I want to wish the current management team and players all the best for the coming season.
"I would also like to thank the county board and Tipperary supporters club for their efforts in preparing the team to the highest standards. There are too many to mention personally, but your work doesn’t go unnoticed, and it is vital in the success of any Tipp team."
O'Meara will now continue to play club hurling with Kilruane MacDonaghs while also embracing the challenges and joys of being a father for the first time.
"I look forward to returning back to where it began with my club Kilruane MacDonaghs, since we moved house from Knockshegowna GAA. MacDonagh Park in Cloughjordan and the people who run it have been a huge part of my life. I look forward to continuing my GAA journey with lifelong friends.
"Life has new journeys, and my loving partner Ciara has just given birth to our first son Mikey. She has shown amazing patience and selflessness while I pursued my goals. It is time I am there for them.
"During my tenure, there were ups and downs both personally and as a team, but I want to thank the supporters for always being there. You were part of many fond memories. I am looking forward to joining you and cheering on the team in the future."