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11th Oct 2022

“They’ve been stalwarts for the last ten years. You can’t be holding grudges against them” – Burke gives Dubs’ departing trio his blessing

Niall McIntyre

Donal Burke was the bearer of bad news this morning as he confirmed that, when the Dublin hurlers get back training in the next few months, new boss Micheál Donoghue will be without Liam Rushe, Chris Crummey and Cian O’Callaghan.

Rushe only played a bit-part role in the 2022 season, having been hit with some untimely injuries but as former captains and vice-captains respectively, both Crummey and O’Callaghan were integral parts of the team.

The Dubs will have to do without them in the 2023 season however, with all three men travelling for the year. It hardly represents an ideal start for Micheál Donoghue’s tenure as manager though he’ll surely be buoyed by some of the younger faces who have stood up in the Dublin hurling championship in recent weeks.

Such faces include Dara Purcell, who was man-of-the-match in Kilmacud’s semi-final win over Ballyboden, his team-mates Mark Grogan and Davy Crowe, as well as Micheál Murphy, who has been impressing for Na Fianna.

As Na Fianna captain, Donal Burke was speaking to us ahead of the Go-Ahead Dublin SHC final against Kilmacud Crokes, which takes place on Sunday week, and while disappointed to lose Rushe, Crummey and O’Callaghan, he understands the lads’ decision.

“They’ve given brilliant service to Dublin hurling so you can’t really fault them for making that decision.

“There’s more to life than hurling at the end of the day so you can’t be holding grudges against them.

“They’ve been absolute stalwarts for the last 10 years. Delighted for them now that they can put their personal lives first which sometimes has to be done.”

Having recovered from those afore-mentioned injuries, Rushe has been a key man in Na Fianna’s march back to the Dublin SHC final and Burke says that, as their centre back, he’s a born leader. Rushe transferred to Na Fianna from his home club St Pat’s Palmerston in 2020.

“He’s a massive, massive addition. He was probably one of the best to come out of Dublin, he was probably one of the best in the game so when you get a player like that it’s a massive addition to any club. 

“He’s a natural leader. When things are going bad like at the weekend he was probably man of the match at six, when things were going bad he was coming out with some unbelievable catches and some big plays. He’s a born leader on and off the pitch. We’ve quite a lot of young lads on our team so he’s someone to look up to. It’s a big role.”

Meanwhile, Burke is already intent on ensuring that 2023 is a season where the Dubs on right the wrongs ofthis year’s disappointing campaign.

“It was definitely disappointing because I was off for the summer studying, so I was planning on being a full-time hurler basically. Especially the way the campaign started, we had a great win against Wexford and we thought the (All-Ireland) quarter-finals or even coming out of Leinster was definitely on the cards. It was very disappointing then to go out the way we did.

“So I’m focused obviously on the club for these next two weeks and I’ll back in then, yeah.”

Proud sponsors of the Dublin GAA Club Championships, Go-Ahead Ireland today hosted a media event with Brian Sheehy of Kilmacud Crokes and Donal Burke of Na Fianna ahead of the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final taking place in Parnell Park on the 23rd of SeptemberMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy