Dublin’s awful day reduces prospect of Donoghue coming back to Galway

Inside Track with John McIntyre

A lot can change in a few days. This time last week there was some local speculation about the possible chain of events which could lead to Micheál Donoghue returning to the Galway hurling team manager’s role for 2025.

It came in the wake of Donoghue plotting his native county’s downfall at Pearse Stadium last Sunday week – a result which not alone ended Galway’s interest in the Leinster championship, but also put paid to any All-Ireland ambitions.

Dublin were full of energy in Salthill and looked a well-coached outfit, knowing what to do and when to do it. Sure, David Burke’s red card had a huge bearing on the result, but Chris Crummey and company might have pulled off their latest championship win over the Tribesmen in any event.

You got a sense from Galway supporters afterwards that they wished Donoghue was still running their sideline. After-all, he is the only manager to have guided the county to a senior All-Ireland title since 1988 and there remains a lot of goodwill towards him, Franny Forde, and Noel Larkin.

Donoghue had abruptly departed Galway following, ironically, crashing out to Dublin at Parnell Park in June of 2019. Family reasons were a factor, so too was a fractured relationship with some local GAA officials, but regardless of the background, the Clarinbridge clubman was not for turning.

In that context, it was surprising to see Donoghue rocking up to Dublin in the winter of 2022. Clearly, his appetite for managerial hardship was back and his first season was reasonably progressive until they bombed out to Clare in the All-Ireland quarter-final at the Gaelic Grounds.

There was some mitigation in that it was Donoghue’s first year in charge and he had taken on a major rebuild programme, while losing Donál Burke early on to a serious hamstring injury proved a significant blow. Unfortunately, there were no extenuating circumstances to what unfolded at Croke Park on Saturday evening.

Pictured: Galway’s Reisteal Kelly on the attack against Clare’s Eimear Begley during Saturday’s All-Ireland Intermediate Championship clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Don Soules.



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