Sydney’s Irish AFL defender Colin O’Riordan has helped his local Gaelic football club Tipperary to their their first provincial senior football championship title in 85 years.
The Swans gave the 25-year-old O’Riordan special dispensation to play in the Munster Senior Football Championship final and he played a crucial role as underdogs Tipperary beat Cork 0-17 to 0-14.
“It’s an emotional day for me,” O’Riordan told The Sunday Game post match.
“A few weeks ago I didn’t think I’d be here and just to be out there with the lads, giving it your all for the sake of Tipperary – I can’t put it into words.”
“It’s the best feeling I’ve had in many years and it just fills me with pride so much.
“I get emotional even thinking about it but to me, it’s one of the best days of my life – (I’m) just over the moon.”
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O’Riordan started and played the full game for Tipperary – his first inter- county appearance since joining the Swans in 2015 – while Collingwood’s Mark Keane came off the bench for Cork in the 59th minute.
“To me, it means so much to be able to put on the Tipp jersey,” O’Riordan said.
“It’s something I will never take for granted, it’s something I’ll respect to the day I die, that I had the opportunity to wear the jersey.”
O’Riordan, who has played 23 AFL games since making his debut in 2018, said he was “extremely grateful” to the Swans for allowing him to play.
“They were 100 per cent within their rights to say no to me and to refuse me permission to play but they had no problem,” he said.
“John Longmire and all these lads over there with the Sydney Swans are an incredible organisation.”
Tipperary have now qualified for the All-Ireland semi-finals and will play Mayo at Croke Park on Sunday 6 December (local time), with Dublin taking on Cavan the previous day.