Lions rookie Cian Hanley has ended his dream of an AFL career, deciding to go back home to Ireland.

Hanley, the brother of Gold Coast’s Pearce Hanley, joined Brisbane in 2014 as a category B rookie, but failed to make a senior appearance after three seasons at the club.

Hanley was a Gaelic football star in his hometown before moving to Australia in an attempt to play alongside his brother, coming across with a reputation as an elite athlete with strong agility and endurance.

Cian endured a difficult 2017, with his younger brother passing away back in Ireland and his brother Pearce moving to the Gold Coast Suns.

“The club has been unbelievable, I’m very appreciative of what they’ve done over the last while. It’s no fault of theirs I’m going home,” Hanley told lions.com.au.

“It’s just more me and personal reasons and I just think it’s the right time to go.”

Lions’ General Manager of Football David Noble commended Hanley for his contribution to Brisbane, which included a NEAFL premiership.

“Cian has been one of our hardest workers over the last three years particularly, overcoming injury and personal adversity with such a professional attitude, it is very sad to see him go home,” Noble said.

“We will miss his infectious smile, his positive attitude and bubbly contribution to our Club.

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“We wish him a safe trip back home to Ireland where he will reconnect with his family.”