‘The Tipperary Hurler’, a painting by Limerick born artist Seán Keating, (Born 28th September1889) was an accredited artist and former president of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Seán, was the father of the 1970s Labour Party minister Justin Keating, former who died in 1977.
This painting is based on a sketch made by the artist at Croke Park, of Tipperary man and former hurler John-Joe Hayes from the townsland of Ballerk, near Thurles Town, Co.Tipperary. This beautifully portrait depicts a strong, rugged yet determined subject matter and was begun by the artist sometime between 1923 and 1925.
John Joe is depicted in the portrait wearing the jersey of the Commercials Hurling Club (CHC), which was founded in 1886 by young hurling lovers from the midlands of Ireland who had moved to find work in the many bars and shops of Dublin city.
The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final of 1923 was held at Croke Park, in Dublin on 9th September. The match was contested that year by Kilkenny and Tipperary, with John Joe Hayes playing for Tipperary and with Kilkenny taking the coveted title by 4-2 to 2-6.
This painting was first exhibited in Amsterdam during the Olympic Games of 1928 and was eventually donated to the Hugh Lane collection in 1956 by the late Patric Farrell, an American who served as a producer and director of the Irish Theater and the Museum of Irish Art in the New York of the 1920′s and 30′s, and who only ever visited Ireland once in 1965.
Thanks to Sean Leahy for this picture of his father (Jack Leahy)
front row, 4th from left who played for Commercials approx 1948/49