Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch a breath of fresh air

By Peter McNamara

Isn’t Cian Lynch, newly-crowned PwC Hurler of the Year, a breath of fresh air?

You have to appreciate and respect a person that marches to their own beat, one that really understands what makes them tick.

Recently, Lynch discussed how he does not drink and how he has such strong religious beliefs.

Subsequently, Lynch was credited across many platforms for his refreshing honesty and how he has encouraged others to follow his lead in “doing what makes you happy”.

When it was put to him last Friday that people may be looking for role models such as him, he concurred that is possibly the case, but in as modest a way as he carried himself, on and off the field.

“Yeah, maybe they are, especially in this day and age,” Lynch said. “A lot of people have turned away from the religious side of things or for everyone now the normal thing to do is to go drinking or whatever.

“For me, I just don't think you have to conform to social norms. I don't think we all have to conform to those social norms.

“I quoted Oscar Wilde at the ploughing championships a few weeks ago when I said, 'Be yourself, everyone else is taken'.

“I'm not telling people to copy someone else or copy what I do. We're all here, we're all different people, no one person is the same as someone else.

“Do what makes you happy. Religion, for me, and not drinking, are just things that keep me grounded. It's where I get my equilibrium. Religion is where I go to kind of clear the head and get back down to level ground.

“Because it's very easy to get carried away and get ahead of yourself. It's important to stay in the now.

“If I can be of any help to any young fella or young girl or older man or lady, I'm happy to help.”

When asked how he shoulders the responsibility of being someone children look up to, Lynch’s response further illustrated how articulate he is.

“I don't know if I'm a hero or any of that crack, but I suppose I was at a camp the other day and kids were asking me what I do to prepare for games or training, that sort of thing.

“You kind of have to say to young guys and girls to just enjoy everything you do at that age.

“In this day and age there's a lot of peer pressure and a lot of social media and lads are getting involved in Instagram and Snapchat and they're all over that but they're forgetting that they can just go out and open up and express themselves.

“We're kind of very confined now so what I'd say to young people is to just go out and enjoy hurling or whatever else you’re into, whether it's football, soccer, rugby, or education, just enjoy it. Just be the best person they can be.

“As I said, if there's anything I can do to help anyone I'd be happy to help,” Lynch added.

The Patrickswell man, a wizard on-field, then cemented his place as “one of life’s good guys”, as Brian Fenton put it on Instagram on Sunday, by adding these words on RTÉ’s live transmission of the All-Stars: "I don't know, it's what you dream of as a kid like," Lynch said. "Even seeing the videos there of DJ Carey, Henry Shefflin, even Joe Canning last year you know?

"I see my parents up there and they brought me to games as a young lad, and I remember running onto the pitch looking for Joe Canning's autograph.

"For me, to have the opportunity to stand up here, it goes back to the small things, back to the family."

Lynch might be slow to concede that he is now a role model for children and teenagers in the country.

However, that is exactly what he is now. In ways, his persona is a representation of how progressive Ireland is in generally accepting people for who they are.

And people like Lynch will ensure the country continues to move towards a more tolerant society for everybody which, even in itself, is remarkable, really.

Yesterday’s Roscommon Herald featured coverage of Fuerty’s victory over Oran in the Roscommon IFC final replay.

Fuerty won the match 2-11 to 1-6 and the post-match quotes from their manager, Eamon Towey, would resonate with coaches and team leaders all over the land.

“I’ve managed a good few teams in Croan’s and I never won anything,” said Towey. “It’s the first thing I’ve ever won as a manager. I remember being part of a management team that won an U-16 league. So, it’s a huge relief for me because you have doubts. You ask yourself ‘am I just a nearly man? Is getting teams to finals all I’m good for?’ So, it’s great for me personally but I have a superb management team here.”

There are countless managers in all local sports who have hit the crossbar time and again in terms of landing silverware.

However, Towey is a prime example of how goals can be ultimately achieved provided you retain your self-belief as a manager.

If you keep putting yourself in a position to succeed, you eventually will.

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