Five time All-Ireland winner Aidan O’Mahony has announced his inter-county retirement.
The Rathmore native joined the Kerry senior panel in 2003 and, along with his All-Ireland medals, he also won three Allianz League titles and was twice named an All Star.
O’Mahony’s final appearance in the Kerry jersey was last year’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin.
In a statement on the Kerry GAA website, the 36-year-old confirmed his decision.
“Today I would like to announce my retirement. I feel the time is now appropriate for me to step away from the Kerry team.
“It’s been an absolute honour for me to wear the green and gold jersey for Kerry for the past 14 years at senior level and I leave having great respect for all the talented players I have shared my footballing career with. I am extremely grateful for all the support my teammates gave me down through the years and I have made friendships for life.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to represent my Club (Rathmore), County, Province and Country over the years. It was an honour to share the dressing room with such brilliant players throughout the last 14 years with Kerry. I have utmost respect for every player whom I have played against as we all put on our county colours with a common goal in mind.
“I would like to thank the managers whom I have trained under with Kerry from Minor and Under 21 to Senior level. I will be forever appreciative for the belief you have all shown in me.
“Thanks to the Kerry supporters who travel far and wide every year for both League and Championship.
“I would like to thank An Garda Sióchana for their consistent support in facilitating my involvement with the Kerry team.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family for their encouragement and ongoing support over the years.
“Today is the beginning of something new!”
Paying tribute to O’Mahony, Kerry boss Éamonn Fitzmaurice highlighted his leadership qualities.
“His leadership was of particular importance in the last few years as a lot of younger players have been integrated into the panel,” he said on the Kerry website.
“He passed on the baton and helped these players to understand what it means to be a Kerry footballer.
“Honesty underpinned everything he did and his selflessness manifested itself in the way he was happy to advise and encourage everyone, even the players he was in direct competition with for a position; a rarity. He personified leaving the jersey in a better place.
“Aidan was a warrior for Kerry right up until the last minute of his last game for Kerry last August.”
Aidan O’Mahony hangs up his boots as a Kerry legend. His reliability and professionalism have been highlighted by his teammates and undoubtedly his presence at the back gave his team-mates freedom further up the field.
Enjoy retirement Aidan,you have been a loyal servant to the Kingdom for so many years and your dedication never went unnoticed.Go raibh maith agat agus baint taitneamh as.