Earlier this season, three-time All-Ireland winning Limerick captain Declan Hannon joined a member of a select grouping who have lined-out in 50 Senior Hurling Championship fixtures.
Now in a remarkable 12th championship season, the sprightly Adare great, still a few months shy of his 30th birthday, has appeared in 27 provincial championship outings, and another 25 in the All-Ireland stages.
In championship, Hannon has amassed an impressive 1-97, a significant chunk (0-17) of which was achieved when featuring at full-forward in Limerick’s shock win of the 2013 Munster Championship, which culminated in a famous pitch invasion following the final defeat of Cork at the Gaelic Grounds.
For the record, he has registered an incredible 8-80, including 3-35 across just five fixtures in ’13, in National League activity.
Nominated for All-Star recognition as far back as 2011, Hannon now has two Cú Chulainn statutes, from 2018 and ’21.
Debuting at only 16, Hannon won a prized Limerick Senior Championships medal in 2009, contributing three points in Adare’s comfortable final defeat of Na Piarsaigh. Not long afterwards, he hit a headline-grabbing 1-13 in defeat against then club kingpins Newtownshandrum in the Munster Championship, after which his then teacher and Limerick star Niall Moran wisely predicted: “He’s a leader, a natural leader.”
It was around this time also that he featured prominently in his now customary number six position with Ardscoil Rís in their back-to-back triumphs in the Dr. Harty Cup, including their breakthrough and 2010 famed trilogy final victory over Thurles CBS at Nenagh’s MacDonagh Park. Not unnoticed would have been the earlier tutorship at Scoil Naomh Íosaf by the likes of Tipperary pair Barry O’Riordan and the late Brother (Brendan Cathal) Dwane
A few years later, Mary Immaculate College won their first Fitzgibbon Cup after a marathon final – two periods of extra-time – with University of Limerick, after which Hannon stated: “That was one of the most unbelievable games I have played in. We had it won and lost so many times throughout the game, but we’d have stayed until midnight to win.”
He played both minor and Under-20 with Limerick before arriving on the senior stage through a Spring 2010 National League appearance at the edge of the Glens of Antrim in lovely Loughguille.
Hannon’s wonderful journey has been followed closely be proud parents Joe and Brigid – whose uncle Pat Stakleum (Holycross-Ballycahill) captained Tipperary to the 1949 All-Ireland Championship – and younger siblings, jovial Jody and Cillian, along with fiancée Louise Cantillon, the consummate professional radio and television presenter.
Outside of being hurling royalty, Hannon works as Healthcare Recruitment Manager with Unijobs.
Nickie Quaid and Graeme Mulcahy are Limerick’s only other members of the famed ’50 Club.’