Thursday 5 December 2019

Cusack may add all-star power to Labour or Sinn Fein ticket

Ralph Riegel

TRIPLE All-Ireland medal winner Donal Og Cusack is being courted by two political parties over a potential General Election bid.

The Cork hurling goalkeeper -- who became Ireland's first major sports star to confirm that he was gay in his best-selling memoir last year -- is now being linked with Sinn Fein and the Labour Party.

The Cloyne GAA star was unavailable for comment on the matter yesterday.

However, sources indicated to the Irish Independent that he has been informally "sounded out" by at least two political parties about a career in politics.

Sinn Fein is understood to view the 33-year old as the ideal standard-bearer in the four-seat Cork East constituency.

However, SF has officially denied any such candidacy offer was ever made to Cusack.

Labour, meanwhile, also had indirect contacts with the GAA star amid a growing belief that it could replicate its 'Spring tide' triumph of 1992 in the next General Election, named after the former Labour leader Dick Spring.

A Labour Party official denied that the hurler was offered a place on the party's general election ticket or that any official talks took place -- but sources confirmed the indirect contacts.

Recently, Donal Og was invited to deliver an address at the An Phoblacht Autumn School in Ballyvourney, Co Cork.

The outspoken hurler -- in a widely praised speech -- warned that Ireland now desperately needed to refocus on the delivery of social justice. "We cannot simply change the government, prosecute a few bankers and hope that we will have a different Ireland. This country's golden circle has always been underpinned by our pervasive 'gombeen culture'," he declared.

Irish Independent

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