Monday 27 January 2020

Clare's Shane O'Donnell flattered but embarrassed by new-found fame

Clare's Shane O'Connell at the Late Late show at RTE in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins
Clare's Shane O'Connell at the Late Late show at RTE in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins
Shane O'Donnell is mobbed by fans at a charity match at Sixmilebridge in Co Clare

Louise Kelly

Clare hurling star Shane O’Donnell has described all the female attention he has had since his his All-Ireland final exploits as "borderline embarrassing".

"It’s flattering and borderline embarrassing. It’s a sideshow kind of thing. It’s like I’m going around in a dream," O'Donnell told Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show tonight.

O'Donnell was likened to teen pop star Justin Bieber by his close friend and teammate Padraic (Podge) Collins earlier today.

Podge, who picked up an All Star nomination earlier this week, told Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One that it has been “absolutely hectic” for 19-year-old Shane since his amazing haul of three goals and three points for Clare in the All Ireland final replay against Cork last weekend.

“He’s a full blown celebrity now,” said Podge.  “As one of the lads says, he’s the Bieber of hurling.”

After a charity match on Wednesday night, the teenage hurling star spent an hour signing autographs - but when the crowd did not subside and Shane required a garda escort to escape his adoring fans.

Yesterday, Podge (21) retweeted a picture from the scene asking "first man to get a garda escort out of a GAA dressing room?"

He also confirmed today that Shane did not know he was in the starting line up until two hours before the game as “he gets a small bit nervous before matches”.

“I think most people on the panel knew that he was going to play. The only one that had no idea was Shane,” he said. 

However, the Clare hurler played down the increased female attention that the rest of the team has been getting since his county’s win, saying, “It’s not as bad as you think”.

The young star promised that Clare will “do our best next year” to hold on to the All Ireland title and says that team manager Davy Fitzgerald’s “unbelievable passion for the game” was a guiding force.

“It’s very hard to win the All Ireland – we know that. It’s small margins that win the All Ireland and we were just lucky to win one,” he said.

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