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Portlaoise GAA announce details of ‘welcome home’ celebration for AFL star Zach Tuohy

Zach Tuohy with Laois GAA chairman PJ Kelly
Zach Tuohy with Laois GAA chairman PJ Kelly

Portlaoise GAA have put plans in place for a huge ‘welcome home’ celebration for their AFL star Zach Tuohy.

The Geelong Cats player was part of the team that won the AFL Grand Final at the end of September.

He became just the second Irish player to lift the title and it caps what has been a remarkable career Down Under thus far.

Thirteen years after he left Ireland to take up a rookie contract and 15 years after he was first spotted by scouts, Tuohy landed the biggest prize in the game, and is a genuine star in Australia.

Geelong were massive 133-52 winners in a one-sided final played in front of over 100,000 spectators in the famed MCG stadium.

It was their first final success since 2011 and only their ninth overall.

Zach was also presented in front of the crowd during Sunday’s county final where Laois GAA chairman PJ Kelly made a presentation.

To recognise all of that, Portlaoise GAA are organising a welcome home evening for on Thursday week, October 20 in Lilly’s, in Portlaoise.

This will be a family friendly event from 6pm-8pm and following the formalities there will be music from 9pm by Key West.

Chairman Eamonn Fennelly said: “We would like to invite kids and adults alike from all over Laois to Lilly’s to meet Zach and give him a big welcome home.

“His career is Roy of the Rovers stuff. 250 appearances in the AFL, and now a Grand Final champion. What an inspiration he is to kids everywhere.

“And in his greatest moment he simply thought of home, the people who influenced him, the club he started out with and never really left.

“Zach’s achievements deserve recognition and celebration. It would be great to see a big crowd in Lilly’s to welcome him home.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.