The following is contained in a much revered card sent to me by Kathleen Cheasty of Killure, Waterford following the sad passing of her beloved husband, Waterford hurling legend Tom Cheasty, on August 10th 2007. It came to my mind last week on reading a newspaper report on the funeral of young Carlow hurler, Jonny Byrne from Leighlinbridge who was taken from his family and community in such tragic circumstances.
Grant me, O Lord, a hurler's skill,
With strength of arm and speed of limb,
Unerring eye for the flying ball
And courage to match them what'er befall.
May my aim be steady, my stroke be true,
My actions manly, my misses few;
And no matter what way the game may go,
May I rest in friendship with every foe.
When the final whistle for me is blown,
And I stand at last at God's judgement throne,
May the Great Referee when He calls my name,
Say "you hurled like a man, you played the game".