Wednesday 18 September 2019

Cusack quits his positions with Clare hurlers and Sport Ireland


Donal Óg Cusack has resigned as Clare hurling coach. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Donal Óg Cusack has resigned as Clare hurling coach. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Colm Keys​

Donal Óg Cusack has resigned as Clare hurling coach and as a member of the board of Sport Ireland in the wake of the controversy over his provision of a character reference, prior to sentencing, for convicted paedophile Tom Humphries, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail yesterday.

Humphries was Cusack's ghost writer for his autobiography 'Come What May' which was published in 2010.

He took up the coaching role with Clare at Davy Fitzgerald's invitation and remained on when Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor took over last year. With Fitzgerald he helped to win a league title in 2016.

The former Cork goalkeeper had issued a statement two weeks ago outlining his "lack of judgment in this situation for which I am genuinely sorry.

"I apologise for any hurt or offence caused by my action. My intention was to help a human in a dark place who asked me for help," he said.

There were indications that he may not have remained on in the role, irrespective of the controversy.

In a statement last night, Cusack outlined his position. "I have informed the Clare county board, Clare senior hurling management, and players that I will not be resuming my position as coach in 2018," said Cusack.

"I wish everyone involved the very best both on and off the field. I have many good memories that I carry with me from Clare hurling and I am grateful to all who shared in creating those."

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He also confirmed his departure from Sport Ireland, indicating that this decision was related to his character reference.

"I have informed the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport of my decision to resign from the Board of Sport Ireland, with immediate effect. I do not wish any controversy to detract from the important work of the board."

He said it was an honour to serve Sport Ireland.

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