Martin O'Neill: Roy came to my daughter’s wedding and behaved himself - which is remarkable!
Published 09/12/2015 | 19:42
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has joked that he’d gladly replace his assistant Roy Keane with former Tipperary hurling manager Eamon O’Shea’s son.
Donal O’Shea, aged 14, attended today’s Philips Manager of the Year awards to accept his monthly gong for August on behalf of his Dad.
Despite his tender years, the teenager proved an engaging speaker from the stage during his interview with host Des Cahill, informing the audience of his presence on the hurling panels of Salthill and Galway.
Later on, when O’Neill drew the acclaim of the gathering at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin for winning the annual award along with his namesake Michael, the Ireland boss was asked to allow the youngster be photographed with the winning duo.
“I have to say he’s been very impressive,” O’Neill said about Donal before jesting: “Don’t tell Roy Keane this but he’s leaving and you’re becoming my assistant.”
The Ireland manager had earlier given an insight into the contribution of Keane towards Ireland’s successful Euro 2016 qualification campaign, whilst insisting the former Manchester United and Ireland skipper has lost none of his aura.
“Officially I’ve got to say Roy is a total lunatic,” O’Neill deadpanned, to much laughter from the audience.
“I’ve seen bigger men than me jump into the corridor when Roy is in a mood. He also came to my daughter’s wedding on Saturday and behaved himself - which is remarkable.
“But Roy’s been very influential on the squad. And he was a world-class player, despite what Alex Ferguson says.”
On the topic of his award, O’Neill admitted he was honoured to be nominated for the prize.
“I only sneaked in because I won the last monthly award for November,” he said about the play-off heroics against Bosnia-Herzegovina which clinched qualification.
“I’m honoured to be amongst the many famous people who had won this award previously."