Niall McParland calls time on Down career

Former Down captain Niall McParland has announced his inter-county retirement. 

“All good things come to an end, what a ride,” the Glenn clubman said on social media. 

McParland has long been noted for his leadership qualities having skippered sides all the way through, including at schools’ level where he led St Colman’s, Newry to a Hogan Cup title in 2010 after victory over St Brendan’s, Killarney. 

That came a year after captaining the Down minors to the All-Ireland Minor semi-final having scored a dramatic late goal to knock out Dublin in the previous round. 

McParland was drafted into the Down squad in 2012 after representing his county for two seasons at U21 level – including the famed three-game losing saga with Tyrone in 2011 – and made his championship debut in the All-Ireland round four qualifier win over Tipperary before also starting in the quarter-final defeat to Mayo. 

McParland played in the 2017 Ulster final defeat to Tyrone before being named captain for the 2018 season by the late Eamonn Burns. 

His playing time in recent seasons has been limited by injuries and teaching abroad, and his focus will now be on club duties having played centre half-back in Glenn’s Division Three draw with Drumgath at the weekend. 

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