Eoin Larkin and Paddy Stapleton were amongst those who retired in 2016.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

2016 SAW SOME big names hang up their inter-county hurley for good.

Time to pay tribute to the retiring stars from the last 12 months.

1. Brian Carroll (Offaly – Coolderry)

After 14 seasons, the Offaly hurling stalwart retired in early January. He may not have enjoyed a trophy-laden career but Carroll was recognised as a leading attacker since making his debut for Offaly back in 2002.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Carroll was part of the Offaly side that lost out in the Leinster final in 2004 but he did win a provincial medal at club level with Coolderry in 2011.

All the best @BrianCarroll13 & enjoy retirement bud, you have come a long way from the hidings I used to give you in @KieransCollege #chaps

— Jackie Tyrrell (@MrJackieTee) January 4, 2016

Source: Jackie Tyrrell/Twitter

2. Donal O’Grady (Limerick – Granagh/Ballingarry)

It was confirmed back in January that the former Limerick captain had brought his career to a halt at the age of 35. His career highlight with Limerick came in 2013, the man who acted as skipper on the famous sun-kissed afternoon when the county ended a 17-year Munster senior hurling drought.

Celebration time in 2013 for Donal O’Grady

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

O’Grady made his senior championship debut for Limerick in 2004 and struck 0-2 in his only All-Ireland final appearance when Limerick lost to Kilkenny in 2007.

Best of luck to @dodgie133 in his retirement. Serious warrior for Limerick and an absolute gent. Wasn't bad at the ankle taps either 😂

— Richie Power (@power_richie) January 17, 2016

Source: Richie Power/Twitter

3. Richie Power (Kilkenny – Carrickshock)

As an eight-time All-Ireland senior medalist and a two-time All-Star winner, Richie Power has plenty golden moments to reflect upon from his days with Kilkenny. Yet there was a tinge of regret when he retired in January, a persistent knee injury prompting him to pull the plug.

He was a hurler that had plenty more to give if his fitness had held up. Injuries hit Power hard in 2015, but in 2014 his blitz of four goals in the last three games was instrumental to Kilkenny’s All-Ireland win. Power also emulated his father Richie Senior in winning All-Ireland medals at senior, minor and U21 levels.

I can safely say @power_richie was the most skill full hurler I ever saw or ever played wit.it was a pleasure.good luck bud.#enjoy

— Eoin Larkin (@11larky) January 19, 2016

Source: Eoin Larkin/Twitter

4. Conal Keaney (Dublin – Ballyboden St Enda’s)

Keaney’s announcement came in April that he was retiring, the mid-season timing reflective of the fact that he postponed the decision until after his exploits in helping Ballyboden St Enda’s win the All-Ireland club football final on St Patrick’s Day.

He finally got his hands on a Leinster senior hurling medal in 2013 but a tip of the hat as well towards his football feats before that, winning five Leinster titles at that level. Keaney also helped Dublin lift the 2011 National League crown.

A leader, a legend and a friend! @ConalKeaney brought Dublin hurling to a different level! #BestDubEver

— Peter Kelly (@peter_slouch) April 8, 2016

Source: Peter Kelly/Twitter

5. Michael Rice (Kilkenny – Carrickshock)

Rice departed the Kilkenny scene at the close of the league after being severely hampered by injury in recent seasons. He suffered a serious hand injury in 2012 against Tipperary and tore his cruciate in 2014.

Kilkenny’s Michael Rice

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Rice hit his stride for Kilkenny between 2009 and 2012 with a series of exceptional midfield displays. The St Kieran’s College teacher won All-Stars in 2009 and 2011 while in total he accumulated eight All-Ireland senior medals.

6. Wayne McNamara (Limerick – Adare)

The 30 year-old was the oldest member of TJ Ryan’s Limerick senior panel this season before retiring in October. He first joined the setup in 2006 before making his championship debut for Limerick in 2008.

His main honour with Limerick came in 2013 when he was centre-back on a triumphant team in the Munster final. Was twice denied at the All-Ireland semi-final stage by Clare in 2013 and by Kilkenny in 2014.

Best wishes to my good buddy @waggymc in his well deserved retirement. Heart, Passion and Desire! What Limerick hurling is about! Enjoy kid!

— Shane Dowling (@dowlerznap) October 20, 2016

Source: Shane Dowling/Twitter

7. Conor O’Brien (Tipperary – Éire Óg Annacarty)

A tenacious defender, O’Brien retired in October. The 31 year-old began his Tipperary senior career in 2007 yet found game time limited in recent seasons with injuries hindering his progress. He won two All-Ireland senior medals in 2010 and 2016.

O’Brien claimed five Munster senior medals with Tipperary while also achieving that same honour at minor and U21 level.

Best wishes in retirement to Conor "Foxy" O' Brien @Foxy_eo. Always gave it his all to the Blue & Gold. Pleasure to call him a team mate 🇺🇦

— Shane McGrath (@Shaneytweet) October 25, 2016

Source: Shane McGrath/Twitter

8. Jackie Tyrrell (Kilkenny – James Stephens)

With nine All-Ireland senior medals to his name, Tyrrell fell just short in joining Henry Shefflin at the landmark number of 10 when Kilkenny lost out to Tipperary in September. He retired last month after a glittering career that also saw him claim 10 Leinster senior medals and be part of six National League triumphs.

Tyrrell was an All-Star winner for four consecutive years between 2007 and 2010 while he also captained Kilkenny to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2006.

@MrJackieTee inspiration, passion, competitive, winner to choose but a few-true KK sportsman-played wit his heart.enjoy retirement friend👊👊👊

— Henry Shefflin (@ShefflinHenry) November 11, 2016

Source: Henry Shefflin/Twitter

9. Niall Corcoran (Dublin – Kilmacud Crokes)

A native of Galway, Corcoran transferred clubs from Meelick-Eyrecourt to Kilmacud Crokes. He was corner-back on the Dublin team that swept to league honours in 2011 and also the historic Leinster final victory in 2013.

Corcoran retired last month with his last appearance for Dublin occurring in June’s championship tie against Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn.

Can't forget Niall Corcoran also retiring today . A Galway man that threw his lot in with the Dubs and gave every ounce for the cause . 💪🏿

— Anthony Daly (@DaloAnto) November 11, 2016

Source: Anthony Daly/Twitter

10. Willie Hyland (Laois – Clough Ballacolla)

Hyland retired last month at the age of 28 due to persistent injury problems. He had been one of the leading lights for Laois hurling, helping them win Division 2 league finals in 2007 and 2013.

Hyland made his debut for Laois as a 17 year-old in 2006. He starred for Limerick IT in the Fitzgibbon Cup while also representing Leinster in the Railway Cup and Ireland in the Shinty-Hurling series.

Best wishes to @HylandWillie on his retirement. A great man to throw out a pass the odd time 😂 and a great leader 🔵⚪️ #bigbill

Click Here: qld maroons rugby store— Paddy Purcell (@PaddyPurcell1) November 17, 2016

Source: Paddy Purcell/Twitter

11. Paddy Stapleton (Tipperary – Borris-Ileigh)

Another Tipperary defender who called it a day, Stapleton also won All-Ireland senior medals with the county in 2010 and 2016. He made his competitive debut for Tipperary in 2006 and his championship debut in the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final against Waterford.

Stapleton has six Munster senior medals to his credit along with a minor win in 2003 and an U21 success in 2006.

@pasaint congrats on a super career.. Always felt safer with ya in front of me 👍 and as for a room mate… #skills #banter #cartonhouse 😂

— Brendan Cummins (@BrenCummins1) November 22, 2016

Source: Brendan Cummins/Twitter

12. Gearoid Ryan (Tipperary – Templederry Kenyons)

Ryan became the third Tipperary All-Ireland winner to retire when he departed in November. He underwent surgery on both hips in 2013 and his involvement was limited in recent seasons.

He first joined the Tipperary panel in 2009 after claiming an All-Ireland minor medal in 2006. Ryan started at wing-forward in Tipperary’s thrilling 2010 All-Ireland success against Kilkenny.

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13. Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny – James Stephens)

The 2008 Hurler of the Year closed the book on a glittering 12-year career with Kilkenny in early December. His last appearance for the Cats was in September’s All-Ireland final defeat to Tipperary.

He garnered an extensive haul of honours with eight All-Irelands, 10 Leinsters, six National Leagues and two All-Stars. The James Stephens man had made his debut back in 2005.

Been a pleasure headlining Wrestlemaina with this lad a few times. Best of luck to Eoin Larkin in retirement 🏅⚽er #wwe #chokeslam pic.twitter.com/xTRCny2scC

— Paddy Stapleton (@pasaint) December 2, 2016

Source: Paddy Stapleton/Twitter

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