The sporting community in Clare is in mourning following the passing of one of the Banner’s most popular sportsmen.
Newmarket on Fergus stalwart Jimmy ‘Puddin’ Cullinan passed away this week with tributes flooding in from former club and county team-mates along with the wider community.
His club issued a statement in which he was described as a “lovely man and a hurling legend”. They also detailed that he was “one of the finest players ever to wear the Newmarket jersey and was equally brilliant in the colours of Clare and Munster”. The club also lauded his “incredible stickwork, an iconic ability to catch the high ball and total domination of matches from centre back”.
During his time with Newmarket, Jimmy won an incredible 10 Clare Senior Hurling championship titles, along with a Munster club. His exploits in the county jersey were just as impressive and while success in the form of silverware might have eluded him with Clare, his defiant and honest performances earned him plaudits on the national stage along with two Railway Cup titles. His talent was further recognised when he was selected on the All-Star team of 1967, while he was also inducted in the Munster Hall of Fame.
Clare GAA PRO Michael O Connor also commented on his sad passing.
He said: “It is with great sadness that Clare GAA have learnt of the passing of Jimmy Puddin Cullinane. Jimmy was renowned throughout Ireland as a hurler par excellence. He captained Newmarket on Fergus to win Munster club honours and won all honours for his club in a distinguished career. Jimmy won a number of awards for his inter county exploits in the 1960’s and 1970’s which only led to greater recognition for his talents. It was said by many that even when his team would be playing below par Jimmy would often still be the best player on the pitch. With Clare, his talents were exhibited at the highest level and Jimmy played in Munster finals, National league finals and semi finals, and won a NHL league medal in 1977 as Clare ended a 31 year drought at national level. He was also inducted in 2006 to the Munster Council Hall of Fame”.
Clare GAA chairperson Joe Cooney expressed his personal sadness at the death of “a Clare hurling legend who will have led the line in any Clare team at any time of the association”. Joe concluded by saying “Clare GAA would like to express its deepest sympathies to his wife Breda, children Sinead, Seamus, Diarmuid, Padraig as well as grandchildren, relatives and many friends”.