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'He Almost Stopped To Talk To Me As If We Were After Meeting Each Other Down In Midleton'

PJ Browne
By PJ Browne

Standing on the line at Semple Stadium last Sunday, it did not enter Donal Óg Cusack's mind that he was in a surreal situation. Just as he was part of the Clare coaching team, down the line as a member of the Cork setup was Diarmuid O'Sullivan.

Once united in their inter-county aims - winning All-Irelands together as goalkeeper and fullback with Cork - they are now divided. Cusack was hoping to aid the downfall of his native county and O'Sullivan that of his great friend's adopted side.

Speaking at an event for the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Championships, Cusack said that when he's on the sideline, he doesn't have the mental space to consider anything other his coaching duties.

It wouldn't enter my brain. I'm part of that Clare group and absolutely committed to them. I'm working as hard as I can for them and with them.

If you stopped to think and said, 'There's Sully up along the line', or whatever.

But still, there was a moment where Cusack's mind returned to his Cork roots, an occurrence he feels is particular to the GAA.

As an injured fan who Cusack recognised walked past him on the sideline, he briefly slowed to have a word.

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Now, it's still the GAA right, and I remember there was a Cork supporter with about 10 or 15 minutes [gone], and I can't think of his name but I knew his face, and he walked past the dug-out. Something had happened him or something.

He almost stopped to talk to me as if we were after meeting each other down in Midleton. It's still the GAA, right, and it's still unique.

But other than that, no, I had all the usual emotions anyone would have. That desperate feeling when you wake up first thing on a Monday morning at 4 o'clock and the thing that pops straight into your mind is the game and you start replaying it all over in your mind again.

Electric Ireland Minor Star Award ambassadors Dónal Óg Cusack and Oisín McConville are calling on the public to log on to the Electric Ireland Facebook page and get involved in the Player of the Week voting as the final stages of the GAA Minor season begin. The Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards, which will take place in Croke Park on the 7th October 2017, aim to recognise the achievements and accolades of Minor GAA players.

Photo: Sportsfile

See Also: Darragh Ó Sé Tells How Páidí Ó Sé Displayed His 'Lawlessness' To Brian Cody On Holiday

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