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Tipp All-Ireland Winner Questions Donncha O'Callaghan Waterford Role

23 April 2023; Waterford backroom staff member Donncha O’Callaghan arrives for the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 1 match between Waterford and Limerick at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Shane McGrath says Donncha O'Callaghan being at Semple Stadium for Saturday evening's Munster Hurling Championship would have been a "one percenter" for the Waterford hurlers.

The former Ireland international rugby player is the performance coach in Davy Fitzgerald's Waterford backroom team. As Waterford lost heavily to Clare on Saturday evening, O'Callaghan was working for RTÉ on their coverage of the URC semi-final between Munster and Leinster at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

"When Micheál Donoghue got involved with [Tipperary] in 2014-15, he came in with a view to being involved in an inter-county setup. We all know what he did then. He won an All-Ireland with Galway," former Tipperary hurler McGrath told the Irish Examiner's Dalo's Hurling Show podcast.

"We played Galway in a knockout championship game. Micheál Donoghue sat in the stand with a Tipperary top on him. The abuse he got from his own [Galway] people. After the match, we went up to him and just said, 'Fair play to you Micheál'. He said, 'Do you now what, lads? When you're in, you're in'.

shane mcgrath donncha o'callaghan waterford

5 February 2023; Waterford backroom staff member Donncha O'Callaghan, second right, watches the match with members of the grounds staff, from left, Johnny Arrigan, David Howell, Noel Sullivan and Ollie Drummy during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B match between Waterford and Dublin at Fraher Field in Dungarvan, Waterford. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

"The performance coach of the Waterford hurlers was at the Aviva Stadium. For me, that is a one percenter. There's no way Caroline Currid is going to a different match when Limerick are playing. I just think that when you're in, you're in, and I use Micheal Donoghue as an example. He's sitting there in a Tipp top.


"That has to leak down. People might say, 'But sure what can Donncha O'Callaghan do for them on the day?' You know what, he might do something small for someone after they've had the grub or before they go for the warm-up.


"All those factors... It's just not good. They have no support at the moment because of all these things.

"I was doing the radio for Waterford and Limerick, and it was five or six (Limerick supporters) to one (Waterford supporters). I met a fella from Dungarvan. I just went in around the square before the match that day. I said, 'There's no many of ye around'. He said, 'I drove up on my own. Nobody wanted to come with me'."


Former Limerick hurler TJ Ryan added: "Donncha O'Callaghan, we don't know what deal he did with Davy. It is possible that he said to Davy, 'I will be the performance coach but however I am committed to rugby if that's on'. That's always a possibility. You have to be fair to the man there."

Donncha O'Callaghan has been contacted for comment by Balls.ie.

Saturday's defeat to Clare - adding to the ones suffered against Limerick and Cork - ended Waterford's hopes of progressing from the Munster Championship.


Deise legend Ken McGrath said on Monday that he felt if it was a Waterford man in charge this season, rather than Fitzgerald, he would not get a second bite at the apple.

See Also: Waterford Hurling Great Hits Back At Suggestions He Needs To 'Step Up'

ken mcgrath waterford hurling



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