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McGrath's concern as daughter bitten by dog

WATERFORD manager, Davy Fitzgerald, revealed Ken McGrath was not informed of an incident involving his daughter on the eve of yesterday's All-Ireland SHC semi-final at the request of his family.

Reports filtered through Croke Park that his three year-old daughter had been bitten by a dog on Saturday and was immediately taken to Cork for surgery and the Waterford manager admitted the news had put yesterday's defeat into perspective.

"I don't think he was told. Whatever about hurling the most important thing is your family," said Fitzgerald. "Please God that she will be okay on that front. It would be very hard for Ken ... that was his own family's decision. We would have had no problem if he wanted to get back for that. That was their decision and that was the way they wanted it.

McGrath was rushed to Cork straight after the match.

"Please God everything will be okay," said Fitzgerald. "As we say this is a hurling match. There are a lot more important things to life. Your health is everything at the end of the day. We all know that and your family is the most important thing."

O'Hara opposes fence

SEVERAL high-profile players and the GPA may have backed the decision to fence in Hill 16, but Sligo veteran Eamonn O'Hara has offered a contrary viewpoint and claimed the GAA risks jeopardising the connection between players and supporters.

O'Hara accepted that the decision was based on "sound logic" and it was hard to argue against the health and safety issues raised, but he then added: "We're unwittingly eroding what it is that sets the GAA apart. That people can invade the pitch and meet the people they are cheering for, and celebrate with them, is unique. That sense of belonging is the GAA's trump card and it's why the association is as strong as it is today.

"I know plenty of players have come out in favour of ending pitch invasions but I don't think they will know what they'll miss until it's gone. They told stories of how things could have gone badly wrong as people rushed onto the pitch, but that hasn't been my experience."