At Last, They Have Given Us Real Hope

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM RYAN COMMENT

LIMERICK hurling steps back into the light today. The appointment of Donal O'Grady has to be welcomed by every right-thinking Limerick fan who has the best interests of the game in the county at heart.

Of course, there are people out there who will remind us that when Justin McCarthy arrived in our county two years ago, he was greeted with a similar sentiment and we know how that turned out.

But we can hardly condemn O'Grady for the misadventures of his fellow Corkman, and there is genuine hope that he will be a unifying figure rather than a polarising one.

On top of that, he comes to the table as a man who knows how to win an All-Ireland in the modern game and there is little doubt that his fingerprints were all over Cork's All-Ireland success in 2004.

In contrast, for all his experience, you had to go back to 1984 for the previous time McCarthy had been on the sideline coaching a team to an All-Ireland title, so these are two very different men from different eras.

The other massive difference is that McCarthy arrived in Limerick two years ago as some kind of messiah figure, and a lot of hope and trust was invested in one man.

O'Grady commands huge respect in the game but he comes here as the head of a management team which is almost certain to include men who have commanded huge respect in the Limerick jerseys in the past, with TJ Ryan, Ciaran Carey and Pat Heffernan all being strongly linked as part of his backroom line-up. …