Hurling

'I don't think it was the appropriate forum' | Derek McGrath on his Sunday Game comments

Kenneth Fox
Kenneth Fox

06:06 14 Aug 2019


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While Donal Óg Cuscak's comments about "the last remnants of British culture" on the Sunday Game may have attracted the most attention, former Waterford manager Derek McGrath also came under fire. 

McGrath was in studio to talk about the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Hurling Championship and he spoke about the reaction to the comments he made on the show.

“Initially actually I felt a bit liberated and then I kind of thought maybe there was a bit self-indulgence.

“There is a bit of lingering hurt there that found its way out through my thought process and I don't think it was the appropriate forum or platform for it.

“That's even though the points they were making I felt strongly about, you know in terms of the innovation and the way the game has changed," the ex-Deise manger said.

Third-level education

Most of the criticism focused on comments he made about the amount of hurlers who are in third-level education. McGrath said his point was completely misinterpreted.

“I felt initially that it was going to blow up like and I was actually more mad about the reaction to the college statement.

“I was doing a bit of research as is your job ahead of any weekend of hurling.

"I was going through the Limerick team and I was saying to myself “Nicky Quad Tralee IT, Sean Finn at UL’ and I went through the 15 on the team and said ‘Jesus they’ve all gone through third-level.”

“Then I went through the Waterford team of 17 and I said “God they’ve all went through third-level," the 53-year-old said.

McGrath was aggrieved by assertions that it was some form of academic snobbery and he stated that both of his parents didn't even have secondary education.

“It wasn’t that there’s not room for a farmer, or a mechanic or someone on shift work in terms of playing hurling or anything.

"It was more the absolute statistical difference between 20 years ago and societal change which is reflective of hurling change itself," he said.

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