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 Ian McLoughlin in action for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against LYIT. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Ian McLoughlin in action for Tradehouse Central Ballincollig against LYIT. Picture: Larry Cummins.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Ian McLoughlin delivered on basketball's big stage for Ballincollig and Neptune

HE might be a native of Athlone, but Ian McLoughlin established himself as a Cork basketball stalwart over the past decade.

Ian McLoughlin in action at Neptune stadium. Picture: Diane Cusack
Ian McLoughlin in action at Neptune stadium. Picture: Diane Cusack

The all-action hooper enjoyed great success with Neptune and Ballincollig. He helped the northside club land a National Cup in 2013, before successive President's Cups with Tradehouse Central Ballincollig in recent years, and a Division 1 crown.

However, McLoughlin won't be staying on the hardwood with the Village next season when they make the step up to the Super League. 

Ian McLoughlin of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig trying to shoot as he is challenged by David O'Beirne of Bad Bobs Tolka Rovers. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Ian McLoughlin of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig trying to shoot as he is challenged by David O'Beirne of Bad Bobs Tolka Rovers. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Turning 35 in October, he struggled with injuries in recent months which forced him to sit out the cup final in Tallaght and is calling time on his memorable career at the top.

He explained: "So after 15 years of playing national league basketball it's time to hang the boots up. A huge thank you to everyone I have met and played with and against along the way. 

Ian McLoughlin delivered in some huge games for Neptune and Ballincollig...

"Far too many people to thank individually but a special thanks to my wife Maire for putting up with me all this time and helping me through the good times and bad. I'd be lost without her."

Ian McLoughlin with Maire and Millie Mclaughlin and their cousin Ryan O'Connor after winning the MVP award against Tolka Rovers.Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ian McLoughlin with Maire and Millie Mclaughlin and their cousin Ryan O'Connor after winning the MVP award against Tolka Rovers.
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

McLoughlin had a spell in Killorglin in between lining out for the Cork clubs, while he earned his spurs in Belfast.

The Westmeath man endured a tough time off the court before moving to Ballincollig, battling cancer which took 15 radiation treatments to clear.

A strong personality, McLoughlin offered real leadership to the Collig in recent years, while his high-tempo style made him deadly on a fast-break. 

Capable of nailing three-pointers as well, he was the MVP for his fourth-quarter heroics in the 2019 President's Cup win over Tolka Rovers. That was a special occasion, with Ian and Marie's daughter Millie on hand as he collected the gold bauble.

Ian McLoughlin, Neptune, in action against Shane Coughlan, UCC Demons, in 2010. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
Ian McLoughlin, Neptune, in action against Shane Coughlan, UCC Demons, in 2010. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Lifting the National Cup with Neptune was a career highlight, as Mark Scannell guided the famed club to silverware after a 21-gap between cups. McLoughlin, Gary Walsh, Michael McGinn, Darren Townes and Ger Noonan were a formidable starting five.