Johnny Glynn ditches New York commute and will stay in Galway

Hurler was travelling back and forth to the USA during All-Ireland winning season

Johnny Glynn celebrates after Galway’s win over Tipperary in the 2017 All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Johnny Glynn is to base himself in Galway this summer, now fully committed to the hurling team after spending much of last season commuting from New York.

Glynn ended up playing a central role in Galway’s first All-Ireland hurling title in 29 years, his first start of the summer actually coming at midfield in the final win over Waterford.

He had made several trips across the Atlantic in the process, while living and working in the Bronx. He first left the week after the 2015 final defeat to Kilkenny, promptly settling in the Yonkers area of the Bronx.

Then Galway manager Micheál Donoghue came calling in April 2017, at which stage Glynn had been almost two years in New York. Glynn was back for the 2017 league final in April, then commuted from JFK to Shannon as dictated by the need, and the diary.

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Speaking to The Irish Times in the aftermath of Galway's win last September, Glynn admitted it was something of a gamble coming home:

“No, there was never a guarantee,” said Glynn. “I’m six years playing with Galway, and two All-Irelands lost. Eventually I won one on Sunday, and hopefully it won’t be the last, but you just don’t know.

“So win or lose, if Galway ring you to come home, you’re not going to turn your nose up at it. Galway is my county, that’s where I grew up, you’re never going to tell them ‘go away’.”

In 2016, instead of playing hurling with Galway, Glynn played football with New York: his 3,000-mile commute last summer drew immediate comparison to the similarly bold initiative made by Pete Finnerty and Gerry McInerney, who starred on Galway's 1987 and '88 All-Ireland-winning teams, while living in New York. Only then Galway were parachuted in at the semi-final stage.

“I honestly don’t know how many trips it’s been. I’d have to look at the passport. A good few months, about three months, back and forth. I came back about four weeks before the semi-final, went back to New York for a few days after, then back here for the last four weeks. So yeah, it went quick, you could say that.

“And Micheál is straight up, would never want to hide anything. To be honest it wasn’t really a sacrifice. It’s easily done. It’s probably more hassle driving from Cork to Belfast, if you think of it that way. It’s only a few hours flight, into Shannon, and my home is only 20 minutes from there. My dad Martin is always there to pick me up.”

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics