Today we honour the memory of one of our greatest hurlers in recent times - the late Pat Hurney. Pat who was third son of Pakie and Nonie Hurney of Cregmore died tragically in Hurling Final on the 7th of September 1986.
Pat virtually grew up with a hurley in his hand and was a star for Cregmore National School team. He went on to play for St. Mary’s College, Galway before changing his seat of learning to Presentation College, Athenry. With the Athenry College, he reached the All-Ireland Colleges Final in 1976, a team that included the Ryan twins - John and Paschal and fellow parishioners, Gerard Naughton, Michael Delaney and the late Martin Duffy.
On completing his education at Athenry, Pat went on to join the Garda Siochana and won several All-Ireland Garda Championship medals.
Pat Hurney had a distinguished career with Turloughmore Club, he was a member of the Turloughmore Under 14 team that lost to Killimordaly in the County Final of 1973 and got revenge as a member of the Club’s Under 16 title winners in 1975. He was a star of Minor and Under 21 teams and began playing for Turloughmore Senior team while still a Minor.
Pat played for Galway as a Minor in 1977, Under 21 in 1980, and after gaining his place on the Galway Senior Panel in the early eiqhties sustained a knee injury that kept him out of competitive hurling for over a year. The highlight of his hurling career came in 1985 when he starred in his favourite No. 4 position in assisting lurioughmore win the County Senior Hurling title. Pat could play anywhere from centre-back where he often starred, midfield where he had a tremendous game in the All-Ireland Club Semi-Final in 1986 or the forwards where he started or finished many a game.
His untimely passing to his eternal reward came as a great shock to his family, loved ones and colleagues on the hurling field and in the Garda Siochana. The stunned silence that echoed in the air as his remains arrived back in his native parish escorted by his colleagues in Turloughmore Hurling Club will be long remembered. The vision of the young Ginger haired defender coming out from a crowded goal-mouth with the ball, for another one of those long clearances that inspires a team had become a memory.
Pat was an inspiration for his family, club members, and colleagues. He had a tremendous interest in the performance of the Juveniles, and said the Under 12 team of 1986 would go far. To date they have won the Under 12 Championship of 1986 and Under 14 Championship of 1988.
It is fitting that today to join with the inagural Pat Hurney Memorial Tournament beetween Turloughmore and Garda Siochana. We are joined by Galway and Cork Senior Hurling Teams who played in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final of 1986 - on the day that Pat left us to join many other great hurlers of the past not just from this parish, but from all over the Country.
“Ar Dheis De Go Raibh A Ainm Dilis”