The GAA community has been saddened to learn of the passing of former Cork footballer Kieran O'Connor after a three-year battle with cancer, borne with great dignity and courage.
An All-Ireland SFC winner with the Rebels in 2010, Kieran had been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma on three different occasions since October 2017. The 41-year-old had his leg amputated last year after beating the disease twice.
The married father-of-three enjoyed a successful inter-county career and the highlight, undoubtedly, was lifting the Sam Maguire Cup after a 20-year wait for the county having lost the All-Ireland SFC final in the previous year while he also won three Munster SFC medals and four National League titles. He made his Cork senior debut in 2004 and soon became a mainstay of the team at corner back.
Following his retirement from inter-county in 2011, Kieran continued to line out for his beloved club Aghada before his diagnosis three years ago.
A GoFundMe campaign, launched by Aghada GAA and Kieran's friends in 2019, had raised over €324,000 to support Kieran and his family with medical costs.
Kieran is survived by his wife Sinead and children Isabelle, Ava and James.
Aghada GAA and the ‘Friends of Kieran’ fundraising group released the following statement this evening:
"It is with the deepest of regret that we announce the passing of one of our greatest clubmen and dearest of friends – Kieran O’Connor."
"The courage, determination, spirit, and bravery of Kieran as a player was seen at its finest over the last 3 years as he battled his illness with dignity and respect.
"Today is one of the saddest occasions our club has ever known. There are no words that will capture just what Kieran O’Connor meant to Aghada GAA.
"We know that Aghada was embedded in Kieran's heart and his club meant so so much to him also.
"We are truly proud of him and his achievements in the Aghada and Cork jerseys. We are honoured to be able to call him an Aghada man.
"To his incredible family we send our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sinead, Isabelle, Ava and James.
"And also with Pa and Mary, Pa jnr, Johno, Ashling, and Loretta, Regina and Ronan. Our condolences go out also to Kieran's parents in law Joe and Margaret, and all of Kieran’s extended family and friends.
"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis."
Statement from Aghada Gaa and Friends of Kieran . See https://t.co/3ZNXXtgHOc for more.— Aghada pro (@AghadaGAA) July 15, 2020