Monday, September 26, 2022

Zach Tuohy draped with the Portlaoise GAA flag holding the cup aloft after his team Geelong won the Grand Final in the Australian Rules Football League

By Joe Barrett

Councillors in Laois, at today’s council meeting, heaped congratulations on 32-year-old Portlaoise man Zach Tuohy on his 250th game appearance in the Australian Rules Football League and his Grand Final win on Saturday when his team Geelong who beat the Sydney Swans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Leading the praise was the Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council cllr Thomasina Connell who said that she was delighted the council would be holding a civic recently later this year for him.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said: “I too want to congratulate Zach on his fantastic achievement. It’s a pity we (Portlaoise GAA) hadn’t got him yesterday (Portarlington beat Portlaoise in the semi-final of the senior county football championship). I am delighted for his parents Noel and Marie and for his family. To go off to the other side of the world, to survive, missing all his friends and to take the huge step it’s an absolute credit to him. Pity we hadn’t got him yesterday, but you never know, we might have him next year.”

Cllr Willie Aird said: “How proud we are here in Portlaoise of Zach. We saw his talents at a very young age and the day he brought us all back to Croke Park where he got the goal for the (Laois GAA) Minors that day. He’s on the verge of what would be history to us here in Portlaoise to outshine what Jim Stynes achieved in Australia (264 games).

“We can also be very proud here in Laois County Council, outside his father being chairman (Cathaoirleach of Portlaoise Municipal District). Three of his uncles, two of who are alive today, were all employees of Laois County Council. He had the Portlaoise colours around him when he went to collect his winning medal. That just shows that he’s a home person at the end of the day.  He always says that he misses Portlaoise. It would have been a huge and different result yesterday, if we had had him on the Portlaoise team.”

Cllr Barry Walsh said: “It was a phenomenal achievement and an inspiration. I read an article recently where he said that he was hoping to come back to live in Laois and play for Portlaoise. Just let him know that Ballyroan is an up-and-coming team, and we could arrange a site for him in Ballyroan if he wanted to settle down. Just throwing that out there.”

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said: “He certainly put Portlaoise on the map.  The number of times I heard Noel, shouting c’mon the town. Well done and congratulations to all involved. It was a proud moment for the town.”

Replying to the comments cllr Noel Tuohy said: “I want to thank everybody for those kind words. Zach, as everybody knows is a very proud Portlaoise man. He was wearing the flag. It was probably the happiest day of his life, he told me. But maybe, very two minutes when Portlaoise was playing Portarlington, I sent him 22 texts. We know where his heart is. We’re very proud of him in our house as well.  Thank you for all the compliments.”

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