LIMERICK All-Ireland winner Seamus Hickey has confirmed his retirement from inter-county hurling.
The Murroe-Boher man released a statement via the GPA this Tuesday morning.
Hickey departs after playing 44 championship games for Limerick - just two people with more championship appearances; Mark Foley (48) and Timmy Ryan (46).
Hickey played on the Limerick minor hurling team that reached the 2005 All-Ireland MHC final in Croke Park - losing to a Gaway team that included Joe Canning. Fellow 2018 All-Ireland SHC winners Tom Condon and Richie McCarthy were also on that '05 minor team.
Hickey was immediately elevated into the Limerick senior set-up, making his championship debut in 2006 v Tipperary when replacing Denis Moloney as a substitute in the Munster SHC.
Between 2006 and 2018, Hickey played across 12 seasons with Limerick - missing out in 2010. He played under seven different Limerick managers - John Kiely, TJ Ryan, John Allen, Donal O'Grady, Justin McCarthy, Richie Bennis and Joe McKenna.
Hickey played in the 2007 All-Ireland SHC final loss to Kilkenny and gave one of his greatest displays in the 2014 All-Ireland SHC semi final loss to Kilkenny - Man of the Match on a beaten team on that rain-soaked day in Croke Park.
Outside of the inter-county scene, Hickey was a colleges 2004/05 Harty Cup and Croke Cup winner with St Flannan's of Ennis and a 2011 Fitzgibbon Cup winner with UL. In 2012, Hickey was the only Limerick hurler selected on the Fitzgibbon Cup team of the century.
Hickey played in almost every line of the field for Limerick from the full back line up to the half forward line; winning the 2018 All-Ireland SHC, a 2013 Munster SHC and a 2011 Division Two Allianz Hurling League title.
In 2007, Hickey was Young Hurler of the Year and won a 2014 All Star. He also won a 2007 Railway Cup medal with Munster.
With his club Murroe-Boher, 31-year-old Hickey won a Premier IHC this season - helping them to make an immediate return to the senior ranks. Hickey has previously played senior football with Monaleen - winning a 2011 Limerick SFC title.
Limerick played 18 games this season enroute to All-Ireland glory. While Hickey didn't feature on All-Ireland final day this August, he did play in 10 games across the season, including three championship games - starting in the Munster SHC against Tipperary.
"It has been God’s great blessing and an enormous privilege to wear the Limerick jersey from my teenage years through my entire adult life. It is an even greater blessing to have been part of an incredible group of people in 2018 and to deliver to Limerick what the proud sporting county deserved: the Liam McCarthy," said the Hickey statement.
"I have now decided to step away from the Limerick senior hurling panel. I am eternally grateful to my club Murroe-Boher, to the GPA for their incredible support and guidance, to the exceptional teammates I’ve had, the inspiring managers, the perennially selfless backroom teams, the successes, the failures and everything I have learned along the way," he said in the statement.
"It was all made possible by the phenomenal support I receive constantly from my extraordinary wife and children, my parents and my family. They have given so much of themselves so that I could live my dream. My dream off the field has now grown bigger than the one on it and I look forward to being the very best husband, father, brother and son I can be," said the married, father of three.
"God is good, Luimneach abú!”
In November 2015, Hickey was been elected as chairman of the Gaelic Players Association, replacing Dónal Óg Cusack, who served in the role for 13 years.
Hickey had been a member of the GPA National Executive Committee for the previous three years.