One of the greatest Rebels of all time bows out on her terms

One of the greatest Rebels of all time bows out on her terms
Rena Buckley lifts the All-Ireland. Picture: INPHO/Gary Carr

THE most decorated player in GAA history, Rena Buckley, at just 31 years of age has made the decision that her inter-county days are over. 

What a pleasure it has been to witness a feat that will I believe never again be achieved. 

Rena is pursued by Claire Grogan and Angie McDermott of Tipperary in the 2005 All-Ireland final. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Rena is pursued by Claire Grogan and Angie McDermott of Tipperary in the 2005 All-Ireland final. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Records are there to be broken. 

And broken they are time and again in all sports. 

Rena Buckley takes on the Dubs in 2016 in her last ladies football outing for Cork. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Rena Buckley takes on the Dubs in 2016 in her last ladies football outing for Cork. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Yet Rena’s feat of 18 All-Ireland medals across two codes is one which will more than likely stand the test of time.

The Inniscarra club player, who excelled as a ladies footballer with Donoughmore too, made her final decision at the end of April. 

It was something she says she put a lot of thought into since last November but only recently came to a decision. 

At the Investec Corporate event at Páirc Uí Chaoimh were Paidí Collins, Rena Buckley  and Des Cahill. Picture: Tony O'Connell.
At the Investec Corporate event at Páirc Uí Chaoimh were Paidí Collins, Rena Buckley  and Des Cahill. Picture: Tony O'Connell.

And it was a tough one, she admits. 

"Yes, it was a very difficult decision," Rena Buckley said. 

"It was always my dream as a child and teenager to play with Cork. 

"And it didn't disappoint when I got the chance. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cork and certainly it was difficult to walk away from that part of my life. 

"But I feel it's the right time for me and I'm grateful for all the enjoyment, friendships and all the work managements and county boards have put into my time with Cork."

Rena Buckley shows her support for the Evening Echo Mini Marathon. Picture: David Keane.
Rena Buckley shows her support for the Evening Echo Mini Marathon. Picture: David Keane.

There’s life outside of sport and with a busy physiotherapy practice in Macroom where she sees an average of eight patients a day, family and spending time with them becomes more important as you get older. Rena also has a long-term boyfriend, Paidí Collins. 

You go through different stages in life and Rena, after such a decorated career, has now arrived at the stage where she wishes to do other things with her time. She has already won every accolade in the game, 14 league titles, 10 in ladies football and four in camogie, as well as 10 All-Stars, five in each code, to go with her 18 senior All-Irelands.

Rena Buckley gets away from Caroline Kelly, Galway, in the minor camogie All-Ireland final. Picture: Gerard McCarthy
Rena Buckley gets away from Caroline Kelly, Galway, in the minor camogie All-Ireland final. Picture: Gerard McCarthy

That's before you factor in her club success, under medal haul, and individual sports star awards! 

"For a long number of years I’ve given sport a huge chunk of my time and I’ve arrived at the stage of my life now where I have other commitments, other things I want to do. 

"And I have to make the choice. I want to give more of my time to the people in my life.

‘’I'm so grateful to have had such a brilliant time and I wish the Cork Camogie and Ladies Football teams the very best in 2018."

Helen and Tim Buckley with their daughters, Mary  and Rena, at Lee Valley Golf Club, as they celebrated Inniscarra camogie win.Picture: Mike English
Helen and Tim Buckley with their daughters, Mary  and Rena, at Lee Valley Golf Club, as they celebrated Inniscarra camogie win.Picture: Mike English

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