Tadhg Kennelly, who gained his Australian residency on the representation of Keogh & Co., tastes sporting immortality in his adopted Kingdom:

Leo Barry & Tadhg Kennelly

Tadhg Kennelly

The name of Tadhg Kennelly can now be added to the list of irish sporting heroes who have tasted unprecedented success in Australia.

After becoming the first Irishman ever to win an AFL Premiership medal last weekend with the Sydney Swans, the young Kerryman ranks alongside Brownlow Medal winner Jim Stynes and dual Melbourne Cup winning trainer Derrmot Weld. All three have written themselves into Australian sporting history and provided Irish expats with moments of extordinary pride and joy.

The running half-back played an enormous role in the Swan's heartstopping four-point victory over the West Coast Eagles. In the final seconds, he rushed behind and relieved the pressure as the Eagles tried to sneak a last minute goal. He accumulated 17 possessions and scored a rare goal in the Swans' historic win, the first for the club in 72 years.

After receiving his Premiership medal, Kennelly broke into a spontaneous Irish jig before thumping the air in unbridled delight.

The numerous tricolours spotted around the Melbourne Cricket Ground waved enthusiastically and Irish pubs from Kerry to Kings Cross erupted in hugs and cheers.

(Courtesy of Billy Cantwell, Irish Echo, Vol 18 No. 20, Sept- October, 2005)