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Cusack Slams 'Embarrassing' Disrespect For Clare And Wexford Legends

Cusack Slams 'Embarrassing' Disrespect For Clare And Wexford Legends
By PJ Browne

Donal Óg Cusack described as "embarrassing" that the Clare and Wexford jubilee teams were presented ahead of Sunday's hurling final when there was a sparse crowd populating Croke Park.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions in previous years, the All-Ireland winning Clare teams of 1995 and 1997, and the Wexford team of 1996, were all honoured together on Sunday.

"They were some of the greatest players that ever played the game," Cusack said on the Sunday Game.

"It was a great period for hurling, great sponsorship from the likes of Guinness, and there was great excitement around all those new teams.

"They had such storied, big characters that we were meant to be celebrating today, yet when they were coming out there was nearly nobody in the stadium. I actually found it embarrassing to have that lack of respect for those great men."

17 July 2022; The 1995 and 1997 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship winning Clare team before the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Kilkenny and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

'That Clare team, I loved them growing up'

As he sat next to two-time All-Ireland winning Clare goalkeeper Davy Fitzgerald, a player he described as one of his "heroes", Shane Dowling added:

"That Clare team, I loved them growing up. It's changed since then!

"I met [Wexford's] Paul Codd beforehand. We were lucky to meet him because we were down doing something on the pitch [for RTÉ]. I remember growing up trying to copy him as a left-handed free-taker. If I wasn't where we were today, I'd have missed him.

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"I just thought it was very disappointing. They didn't show the respect that those men should have got."

There was a further slap for Clare in the All-Ireland hurling final programme. Their four hurling titles were omitted from the roll of honour.

"Eagle eyed match programme readers at Sunday’s GAA Hurling All-Ireland final will have spotted an omission in our roll of honour listing with Clare’s four wins missing from the table," the GAA said in a statement on Tuesday.

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"This was down to an error in the editing process.

"Apologies to Clare GAA, not least the 1995 and ’97 Banner County teams who were present at Croke Park and honoured on the occasion of the jubilee celebration of their wins."

See Also: 'There's A Symbol On The Limerick Jersey, Nobody Knows What It Means'

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