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Clare hurlers bring in Gavin Keary to replace Donal Óg Cusack

Dublin hurling manager Pat Gilroy yet to officially announce make-up of backroom team

Clare joint managers Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney. Former Galway minor coach Gavin Keary has been added to the backroom team. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

The Clare hurling management has added former Galway minor coach Gavin Keary to its backroom team to replace Donal Óg Cusack, who resigned from the role last month.

Cusack had originally intended on spending another season alongside Clare joint managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor, but stepped down from that role, plus his position on the board of Sport Ireland, in the controversy over his provision of a character reference, prior to sentencing, of Tom Humphries, who last month was sentenced to 2½ years in jail for defilement.

The former Cork All-Ireland winning goalkeeper had previously apologised for writing the reference, citing a “lack of judgement” on his part, but decided not to continue with his role in Clare. He was originally brought on board by Davy Fitzgerald, then continued with Moloney and O’Connor last year

Keary comes in with some impressive credentials have worked with the Galway minor team that won this year’s All-Ireland minor title, and the Loughrea native also played minor and under-21 hurling for his county.

Meanwhile, new Dublin hurling manager Pat Gilroy has yet to officially announce the make-up of his backroom team, still expected to include former Galway manager Anthony Cunningham.

Gilroy will take charge of the Dublin team that travels to Boston later this month for the AIG Fenway Classic, also featuring Galway, Tipperary and Clare, although Cunningham is unlikely to make that trip.

What is certain is that Gilroy will be without long-serving Dublin hurler David “Dotsy” O’Callaghan, who has announced his retirement after some 15 years with the senior team, including a spell as a dual player.

He focused on hurling from 2008, winning the Allianz Hurling League with Dublin in 2011 and the Leinster championship in 2013.

Great honour

“It’s been a great honour and dream come true for me to represent Dublin over the last 15 years,” he said. “I would simply like to thank and pay tribute to all my teachers, everyone in St Mark’s GAA Club, the Dublin supporters, Dublin development squad mentors right up to the senior management, back room and medical teams for all their help and encouragement and.... and  I would like to wish Pat Gilroy, his management team and all the players the best of luck for 2018 in what are exciting times for Dublin hurling.”

The Munster Council have confirmed the Munster club hurling final between Na Piarsaigh and Ballygunner will be played at Semple Stadium in Thurles on Sunday week, November 19th. It’s a repeat of the 2015 decider which the Limerick champions won 2-18 to 2-11, also at Semple Stadium, and will see the club also seek a fourth provincial title in seven years, having won the Munster title in 2011, 2013, and 2015, plus their All-Ireland title of 2016.