Donoghue promises to honour Tony Keady in All-Ireland final

16 August 2017

The legendary Galway All-Ireland winning half back line from 1987 and '88 pictured in 2015, l/r: Pete Finnerty, Tony Keady and Gerry McInerney ©INPHO/James Crombie

by Declan Rooney

Galway manager Micheal Donoghue said that the shock death of Tony Keady will be used as motivation for next month's All-Ireland hurling final showdown with Waterford.

Donoghue said they would do everything in their power to honour Keady's legacy as they try to bring the Liam MacCarthy back to Galway for the first since the Killilmordaly clubman delivered a man of the match display in the 1988 All-Ireland final.

The joy of their semi-final win over Tipperary disappeared when the former double All-Ireland winner died last week.

Several of the team’s players had been coached by Keady at U-21 and club level, and Donoghue said his death put their success on the pitch into its true light.

“It was very poignant. From our own perspective, we came away from Croke Park after winning a semi-final. By Tuesday, hearing the news Tony had taken ill, it put a lot of things into perspective.

Our immediate thoughts will go to Margaret, Shannon, Anthony, Jake and Harry,” said Donoghue.

“Tony was first and foremost a husband and a father, and of course everyone remembers him for his hurling and the way he carried himself every time he played with Galway.

“Within our own group, he has touched a lot of fellas in terms of coaching. He was with the Ahascragh club, with Cathal and Padraig (Mannion). From my own playing experience (in Clarinbridge), he coached us for years as well.

“Our first thing is to extend condolences to the family and I think the greatest thing we can do now is push on and try and wear that jersey in the honour that he did. That’s all we can do.”

Meanwhile, Donoghue insisted he did not want to become embroiled in the GAA’s latest disciplinary row ahead of the final concerning hurler of the year Austin Gleeson after the Waterford man was spotted apparently pulling Luke Meade's helmet during Sunday's semi-final.

One of Donoghue’s squad, Adrian Tuohy escaped a similar ban ahead of their semi-final when the CCCC cleared him following a similar incident, and the Galway manager says the rules surrounding playing he helmet do not concern him.

“It’s not something I’m going to get into. The rule it there and it’s just ironic in the last number of weeks that it has been one incident after another and up to that it wasn’t a huge conversation maker. But now because you are at the business end it’s high on the agenda.

“I don’t know what alteration they can or can’t make to it (the rule). Because it’s high topic now it’s something they will look at to see how they can change it or what they can do but right now it doesn’t concern me too much

“When you are in this position and you are being asked the questions you just let the process through and see what comes of it. But look, on the biggest day whoever you are playing you still want all the players, their big players and our big players, available.

“I’d love if Paul Killeen was available. He sustained a bad injury so on all the big days you want all your big players to play.”

According to Donoghue’s captain David Burke, he’d love if Gleeson was playing considering the effort he would have put in all season to get to this juncture.

“We train so hard for nine months of the year, you want to see the best players playing. Paul Killeen, he’s a massive loss for us. He is out with his cruciate injury and he is a massive character and a leader at training. And he is still is.

“That would be the same for Waterford, I presume. You want your big players playing. He was massive the last day when it came down to it and he got them over the line. I don’t really know what is going to happen there and I’d like to see the best players playing on All-Ireland final day. 

“I haven’t read the wording of the rule. There are a lot of referees coming out saying they don’t agree with the rule. The GAA need to look at it and put an end to it, really, and sort it out because people are talking about the wording in the ruling.

“It is effecting players. The fact that it has happened in the last few games, the rule is being more talked about.”

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