Saturday 17 March 2018

Where are they now?: Gerry McInerney (Former Galway hurler)

At 46 years of age, former Galway hurler Gerry McInerney has no intention of slowing down. He is still playing junior hurling for Kinvara and, until his body tells him to stop, he intends to keep motoring away.

"I really enjoy hurling. I'm not a telly man and I like to keep busy so it suits me to keep playing. There are a few other lads around the same age as me still playing so we have good fun."

In 1985, McInerney, along with Seán Treacy and Pete Finnerty, travelled to America to play hurling for the weekend and while there McInerney decided to stay.

He got work as a carpenter and joined a team. He returned every summer to play championship for Galway and even though he wasn't training with the team or playing in the league, he was always in the starting 15 for championship games.

"All the travelling wasn't easy," concedes McInerney. "But there were a few of us in it so we just got on with it. All the same, America was great, we had work over there, we had hurling there too, plus I loved the weather."

In 1987 and 1988, he won back-to-back All-Ireland senior titles with the Tribesmen. During his playing days he was renowned for his white boots and distinctive hair. The boots, he says, were purchased in America because they were the comfiest ones in the shop and, according to McInerney, they didn't get any reaction until he hit Croke Park.

"The lads in Galway didn't bat an eyelid at them but as soon as I went to Dublin there was loads of talk about them. It's funny that now everyone wears different coloured boots."

In 1990, McInerney moved home to Galway permanently and when he eventually retired from inter-county hurling, his club Kinvara became his main focus.

In 2007, they reached their first senior county final since 1979 and 42-year-old McInerney was player/manager. Portumna ran out winners on the day but that didn't deter McInerney from continuing his playing or management career. He now runs a sports shop in Oranmore. It's open seven days a week but he still finds time to see Galway play regularly.

"There is a great spark around Galway at the moment, with the seniors beating Kilkenny and with Clarinbridge winning the All-Ireland club. It couldn't have come at a better time as a lot of the lads are coming back from injury and the championship is looming. I think it will be a good year for them, it feels like things might happen for Galway in 2011."

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