Donal Óg Cusack: 'When I heard Martin O’Neill’s comments I was disgusted'

Watch: We've had a sit down with the Cork legend...

BY Joseph Conroy 21:00 Thursday 13 July 2017, 21:00 13 Jul 2017

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"I forget I’m gay," former Cork goalkeeper, and current Clare coach, Donal Óg Cusack told Off The Ball's Ger Gilroy.

"That’s my experience, I’m also very conscious it’s still a distance to travel," he added, during an interview which will air on Newstalk on Saturday.

He continued to say that he was disappointed by Martin O'Neill's use of the phrase 'queers' during an interview last year:

"Martin O’Neill is a great man, right, but when I heard Martin O’Neill’s comments a year ago or whatever it was, I was disgusted. Why I was disgusted when I heard those comments was, I was thinking of the young kid that was playing soccer, 14 years of age, boy or a girl in Ireland.

"They’re thinking, Martin O’Neill made these comments, that to me were just ignorant at best, then his apology was so poor … I was thinking of the 13 or 14 year old kid who must have been saying, 'Oh no, this [sport] isn’t for me."'

"I would like to think that the ‘Martin O’Neill school of thinking’ is something like you see out of Jurassic Park. They’re fine, but you don’t want them turning up in your garden this evening, right, trampling around the place," Donal Óg continued.

In the wake of the controversy last summer, the 65-year old Republic of Ireland manager said, "If I have made inappropriate comments ... I obviously apologies for it and I will attempt for the rest of my time here not to make such inappropriate comments."

During the conversation he also recalled a conversation with Gerry Adams after the Marriage Equality referendum result was announced:

"Gerry Adams sent me a message, and I went back to Gerry and jokingly said to him, ‘It’s as close as we’ll ever get to a revolution anyway Gerry.’ He came back with a bit of craic, I actually ended up sending him a kiss signal. It was just that feeling of, it was like a liberation or something. I actually was amazed with that reaction even from myself, that it was so important."

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week