We are delighted to announce Seán Óg Ó hAilpín (born 22 May 1977 in Rotuma, Fiji) as sporting hero at Féile na Laoch. Seán, a former dual player, is an iconic sportsperson and he currently plays hurling with his local club Na Piarsaigh and was a member of the Cork senior inter-county team from 1996 to 2010.

When Ó hAilpín was three years-old the family emigrated to Sydney in Australia. It was here that he first gained an interest in various sports, particularly rugby league. The Ó hAilpín family moved from Australia to Ireland in 1988 and settled in Cork. They rented a house in the city before moving permanently to Blarney, just a short few miles outside the city. Ó hAilpín adapted well to life in his new surroundings and openly accepted all aspects of Irish culture. He was educated locally in the Gaelcholáiste section of the famous North Monastery secondary school. Here, all of Ó hAilpín’s classes were taught in Irish, a language that was alien to him, however, he quickly became fluent. It was in the ‘North Mon’ that he was also first introduced to Gaelic games, and he quickly became a key component of the school’s senior hurling team. Ó hAilpín won a provincial Dr. Harty Cup winners’ medal with the ‘North Mon’ in 1994, before later lining out in the All-Ireland colleges’ final. St. Mary’s school from Galway provided the opposition, however, victory went to the Cork school. The 1-10 to 1-6 score line resulted in Ó hAilpín picking up a coveted All-Ireland winners’ medal.

Ó hAilpín subsequently attended Dublin City University. In 1999 he was conferred with a BSc in Finance Computing and Entrepreneurship (Airgeadas, Ríomhairíocht agus Fiontraíocht). He currently works as an official with the Ulster Bank group in Cork.

Ó hAilpín’s accolades as a sports star are too numerous to detail, but of special note was his captaining of the Cork senior hurling team to All Ireland success in 2005, and the memorable speech he gave in Irish when accepting the Liam MacCarthy cup following Cork’s defeat of Galway.

1994: Wins Dr Harty Cup and All-Ireland Colleges hurling title with North Monastery.

1994: Wins Munster minor hurling title with Cork.

1995: Wins second Munster minor hurling title, and then the All-Ireland.

1996: Wins Munster under-21 hurling title with Cork; makes senior hurling championship debut, against Limerick.

1997: Wins second Munster under-21 hurling title, and then the All-Ireland.

1998: Wins third Munster under-21 hurling title, and second All-Ireland; wins first National Hurling League with Cork.

1999: Wins first National Football League with Cork; wins first Munster senior hurling title; wins first Munster football title; wins first All-Ireland senior hurling title; wins interprovincial football title.

2000: Wins second Munster hurling title.

2003: Wins third Munster hurling title; wins first All Star.

2004: Wins second All-Ireland senior hurling title; wins second All Star; named Vodafone, GPA and Texaco hurler of the year; plays first International Rules series.

2005: Named Cork hurling captain; wins fourth Munster hurling title; wins third All-Ireland senior hurling title; plays second International Rules series; wins third successive All Star.

2006: Wins fifth Munster hurling title.

2007: Wins interprovincial hurling title.

2008: Plays in Shinty International against Scotland.

2009: Plays 50th hurling championship game for Cork in All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Galway.