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'There's More To Life Than Hurling, You Can't Hold Grudges Against Them'

23 April 2022; Dónal Burke of Dublin celebrates with teammate Eoghan O'Donnell after the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 2 match between Wexford and Dublin at Chadwicks Wexford Park in Wexford. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

By PJ Browne Updated
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Donal Burke believes that Micheál Donoghue is "a great appointment for Dublin hurling." Though, the Na Fianna player has not had any contact with his new inter-county manager. "I'm sure he has a plan in place," Burke added.

Donoghue, who led Galway to an All-Ireland title in 2017, was appointed as successor to Mattie Kenny in August.

In this first season, he will have to do without key Dublin players of previous years like Liam Rushe, Chris Crummey, and Cian O'Callaghan who have all stepped away from the panel.

'They've given brilliant service to Dublin hurling'

"They've given brilliant service to Dublin hurling, so you can't really fault them for making that [decision]," said Burke at media day for the Go-Ahead Ireland Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final.

"There's more to life than hurling at the end of the day, so you can't be holding grudges against them. They've been absolute stalwarts for the last 10 years. Delighted for them now that they can put their personal lives first which sometimes has to be done."

Proud sponsors of the Dublin GAA Club Championships, Go-Ahead Ireland today hosted a media event with Brian Sheehy of Kilmacud Crokes and Donal Burke of Na Fianna ahead of the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final taking place in Parnell Park on the 23rd of September. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Even more than his Dublin colleagues, Burke knows how much of a loss Rushe will be to the panel. The pair became club teammates when Rushe transferred to Na Fianna from St Pats Palmerstown last year.

Burke says Rushe has been a "massive, massive addition" to a Na Fianna team which last year reached their first even senior Dublin hurling final. On Sunday, they defeated Cuala to qualify for this year's final.

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"He was probably one of the best to come out of Dublin, he was probably one of the best in the game so when you get a player like that it's a massive addition to any club," said Burke.

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"He's a natural leader. When things are going bad like at the weekend he was probably man of the match at six, when things were going bad he was coming out with some unbelievable catches and some big plays. He's a born leader on and off the pitch. We've quite a lot of young lads on our team so he's someone to look up to. It's a big role."

Donoghue will have fullback Eoghan O'Donnell back in the panel. Following Dublin's elimination from this year's hurling championship, the Whitehall Colmcille player joined the capital's football panel and there were doubts whether he would rejoin the hurling squad. Burke said O'Donnell had told his hurling teammates that a return to the panel was "never in doubt".

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This season ended in disappointment for Dublin as they failed to progress beyond the Leinster championship. Their campaign ended on May 21st following defeat to Galway.

"It was definitely disappointing because I was off for the summer studying, so I was planning on being a full-time hurler basically," said Burke.

"Especially the way the campaign started, we had a great win against Wexford and we thought the (All-Ireland) quarter-finals or even coming out of Leinster was definitely on the cards. It was very disappointing then to go out the way we did. I took a break after that to rebuild, and then it was onto the club then."

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