Sadness as legendary Limerick hurler Leonard Enright passes away

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

Sadness as legendary Limerick hurler Leonard Enright passes away

Former Limerick hurler Leonard Enright, pictured earlier this year with GAA president John Horan at his induction into the GAA Museum Hall of Fame

THERE is huge sadness at the news legendary former Limerick and Patrickswell hurler Leonard Enright has passed away aged just 65.

Tributes are being paid both locally and nationally to the former defender, who also served 15 years as a Fianna Fail member on Limerick County Council.

Leonard died in Milford Hospice last night surrounded by his family, while he was being inducted into the GAA Hall of Fame at the All-Stars awards on Friday evening.

He led Limerick to back-to-back Munster titles in 1980 and 1981, while also winning All-Star awards in 1980, 1981 and 1983.

Former Patrickswell chairman Paul Foley, who played alongside Mr Enright, paid tribute to his "mentor, friend and hero".

"I grew up down the road from him and I was privileged to play on the team with him. When he moved to full-back position, I was honoured to take his jersey. He was so modest with the glint of mischief always in his eye. The tributes we are reading are not platitudes - they are all genuine. He was a really decent, down to earth man, who was quite literally a hero to so many."

Paul said he would mentor him in a quiet manner.

"He would advise you on different aspects of your play, on a one-to-one basis, quietly. He wouldn't over elaborate. It would be very simply done, but in a meaningful way," he said.

Leonard worked as a caretaker at Mary Immaculate College and the old County Council, while he also ran his own distribution business.

Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins described him as a "legend of Patrickswell and Limerick GAA", adding he was "a true gentleman in every way".

Current Patrickswell star Cian Lynch, who was named hurler of the year, paid tribute to Mr Enright at the ceremony, saying: “Heroes like him, legends like him, it's what makes it extra special.

"There's three of us here: myself, Aaron and Diarmuid. We grew up together. Patrickswell is a small little village and family means everything.

"After county hurling you always go back to your club, to your local people. And it's an absolute honour."

It's understood while Leonard was unable to watch the show, but his family did. He passed away just an hour after the ceremony concluded.

Further tributes have been pouring in for the former hurler on the social media site Twitter. Here are a selection.

May he rest in peace.