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ClubSpotting With Shane McGrath

Tipperary legend Shane McGrath ended a marvellous inter-county career in 2015. He helped end a 9 year drought of All-Ireland success for the Premier county in 2010, picking up 5 Munster medals and 2 All-Stars in the process. The Ballinahinch native now wants to share his craft and experience on to the next batch of stars. After corresponding with Shane, a theme that runs throughout is that the club holds a very special place in his heart and that helping those around him is very much to the forefront of his psyche.

1. Describe your first memory of Ballinahinch GAA Club?

My first memory is playing an under 12 match when I was 7, the jersey was hanging

off me but I was just delighted to be playing my first match!

My first winning memory is playing in Semple stadium in the under 16 county final. I

was 13 and my younger brother was sub goalkeeper, he was only 10! It was a great

day. I love that medal as much as anything I’ve ever won.

2. Who was your childhood sporting hero?

My childhood hero was Tommy Dunne, he was a class act on and off the pitch.

3. What makes Ballinahinch GAA club special?

It’s a small place with a great heart and in recent years the underage structures and the children in our parish are giving us great hope for the future.

4. What has been your proudest moment in a Ballinahinch jersey?

Winning the North Intermediate Title in 2016 for the first time in the history of the club. A very proud day and a great reward for all who wore the jersey down through the years and helped get us to that stage.

Shane McGrath in action for Tipperary
Shane McGrath in action for Tipperary

5. Would you like to see a split season for Club and County?

100% yes. There has been a great system and championship this year due to the shortened year. It’s much more appealing for the club player with guaranteed fixtures and a shorter playing year.

6. Have you any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

Pre Game, just before throw in I grab the holy medal and say a quick prayer that all will go well.

Shane McGrath eying up a score
Shane McGrath eying up a score

7. What would you love to achieve with the club in the next few years?

My dream with the club is to try and get us to senior level. Long term, I have become principal of the National School at home in recent years and I would love to see the pupils here in 10 or 20 years’ time go on to achieve great things and I could say I played some small part in that by promoting games and creating a culture in the school. I know that’s how I feel about the man that was principal when I was in this school. I’d just love to be that for someone someday.

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