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'That's What Real Courage Is' - Waterford Manager Derek McGrath On Maurice Shanahan's Battle With Depression

Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Waterford hurling manager Derek McGrath spoke to Oisin Langan for Newstalk's Monday Rewind podcast and he has praised Maurice Shanahan's courage for opening up about his depression and suicide attempts.

McGrath spoke highly of Shanahan, and also remembered his role at the time of Shanahan's struggles.

He's an extremely brave individual, he's an extremely humble young man, and in many ways he suffered in the midst of 2014. I look back at my own role, and he was in the depths of despair and I, quite selfishly, tried to get him to record a motivational video for the Cork game in 2014, which he did, and subsequent to that he was back in the doldrums again.

I look back at my own role in that and I wouldn't be proud of it, even though we tried really, really, hard to get him through it. It became a case where we felt we could solve it ourselves, but sometimes you learn a lesson that you have to pass these things on to other people.

You feel sometimes you can solve every problem and that's the nature of managers at times,sometimes we need to open our minds a bit more.


McGrath spoke of Shanahan displaying real courage in opening up.

Now that he's openly spoke about it he'll be able to control it...It sounds cliched to say it provides perspective for all of us, but it does.  When you go home and you watch the Sunday Game, you watch it because Waterford won, and you don't watch it if Waterford lose, but everything should be taken in the context of what Maurice has gone through.

That's what real courage is.

McGrath also spoke of what it was like in a very emotive Waterford dressing room.

Dan [Maurice's brother] would have spoken openly as selector thanking the players and management for restoring Maurice's confidence and restoring Maurice's mental health to where it should be

It's a very emotional place to be, in a dressing room with a man who has been Hurler of the Year and won three All-Stars speaks to a group on behalf of his family thanking them for what they did for Maurice, with Maurice in the dressing room.

It's a powerful tool and a powerful source and something you will take with you forever: regardless of National Leagues, regardless of All-Irelands and Munster Championships, to know you've played a minor role in getting someone back on track is as important as any All-Ireland medal.

You can listen to the full interview here.


Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

See Also: Respecting Maurice Shanahan's Courage And Remembering Niall Donoghue

See Also: Tyrone's Shay McGuigan Has Launched A Passionate Riposte To Mickey Harte

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