EVERY GAA club in the county is like a big family and members of Murroe-Boher Bord na nOg joined together to pay tribute to one of their fallen sons.
The inaugural Ryan Cusack Memorial Tournament was held in Harty Park, Murroe before a big crowd despite the showery conditions.
The young man, who was just days short of celebrating his 18th birthday, died in a tragic accident while cutting trees in Bruree last February.
The trainee jockey with Enda Bolger was as talented with the reins in his hands as he was with a hurley. Both the Murroe-Boher GAA Club jersey and JP McManus’ famous silks adorned his coffin.
Ray Ryan, chairman, said everybody involved in Murroe-Boher Bord na nOg wanted to pay tribute to the late Ryan.
“He was a former member of our club. He was an excellent hurler all the way through.
“It was tragic. It hit the whole place really, really badly. There was a gloom over the place for a good few weeks afterwards,” said Ray.
The tournament was held for U11 hurlers and consisted of their own Murroe-Boher team and the visiting Ahane, Ballina and Bruff. The games were run off on a round robin basis with the top two teams qualifying for the cup final and the third and fourth place teams qualifying for the plate final.
It came down to scoring difference to see how would get through to the final, Bruff won the first Ryan Cusack Memorial Tournament with a defeat of Ballina. Murroe won the plate final.
But this competition wasn’t about winners or losers - it was about honouring the memory of a young man who touched so many in his short life. Over 1,000 attended his funeral Mass in Murroe last Spring.
Tony Leahy, PRO of Murroe-Boher Bord na nOg said the Cusack family is very popular in the locality and they wanted to pay tribute to Ryan.
Ryan’s brother, Barry, is also a star young hurler with Murroe-Boher and Limerick U15s. Tony says they hope to hold the tournament every year in memory of Ryan.
“Huge thanks must go to Vincent and Martina Cusack and their family for allowing the club to honour the memory of their son Ryan and for their attendance on the day to do the presentations to the winning captains.
“Thanks must also go the visiting teams - Ahane, Ballina and Bruff; Seamus Cusack of Dovetail Fitted Furniture, who sponsored the wonderful cup that was presented on the day; Conor Byrnes, Dave Holmes and Mike Hickey who refereed the games and Rory Moylan for doing the MC,” said Tony.