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John Greene: Cusack can make mark

DóNAL óG CUSACK'S career as a Cork hurler may be over, but just as one door closes, another one opens. The Cloyne man has been appointed to the board of the National Sports Campus Development Authority.

Cusack's appointment to this board makes him the second high-profile figure from the hurling world to be a put on a State board this year following former Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy's appointment to the Irish Sports Council board.

Coincidentally, another high-profile hurling man – Daniel Owens, who managed Kilcormac-Killoughey to this year's All-Ireland club hurling final – is due to finish his short stint on the sports council board this week. Owens was put on the board a little over two years ago after the death of his fellow Offaly man Mick Spain.

As in the case of Sheedy, Cusack looks a good choice. We know from his playing career and from his work with the Gaelic Players' Association that he is progressive, and slow to accept the status quo. At a time of rapid progress on the sports campus in Abbotstown, he is well equipped to make his presence felt.

Developments on the site continue apace, with the first group of national governing bodies having moved into the new Irish Sport HQ on Friday, and more will follow this week.

And, in recent days, planning permission has been granted for the development of the equestrian arena, which is now expected to be completed by July while in June it is expected that indoor training facilities for pistol shooting, fencing and gymnastics will be completed. Planning permission has also been granted for the redevelopment of Abbotstown House, which will be the new base for the sports council.

Meanwhile, there are three further new appointments to the sports campus board. Cusack is joined by fellow Corkman Martin Coughlan, a Labour councillor from Macroom with a background in athletics, and also by former Irish cross-country runner Claire Gibbons-McCarthy, who is also from Cork, and Declan Lyons from Dublin.

jgreene@independent.ie

Irish Independent