Former Cork All-Ireland winning hurling captain believes 2020 could be special

Former Cork All-Ireland winning hurling captain believes 2020 could be special
Cork hurling legends Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Tomás Mulcahy.

TOMÁS MULCAHY was a key member of the Cork All-Ireland Hurling winning side of 1990, lifting the Liam MacCarthy as part of a unique double.

This was something which was acknowledged recently in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at the launch 1990 Cork GAA Double All-Ireland Team Commemorative Bespoke Shirts by Suit Distributors Cork.

Reflecting on the 1990 success, Mulcahy explains “it was a great honour”.

“You would probably think that this is water under the bridge and we would be forgotten about men.

“But look with 30 years on, it seems like yesterday. All of those games are still very much fresh in our memory.”

When The Echo turns the discussion to the present moment in time, Mulcahy is hopeful that the potential is there for Cork to possibly do well over the coming years ahead.

“We have had bad press over the last number of months. But I think it is time to move on now and park it.

“Now is the time to be positive about the games ahead and positive about the teams that are going to emerge in the new year.

“There are not too many teams in the country that can actually do the double and Cork is one of those few.

“Hopefully 2020 might be the start of something very big as well. That is because there is a lot of talent within the county, a lot of good footballers and hurlers.

“The minor and U20 success this year with Cork football was fantastic and we haven’t been too far away in minor and U20 level in hurling either.

“So hopefully we can see the better days ahead. I think that Cork supporters love the days in Thurles, Killarney, and Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“But I suppose more importantly they love the days in Croke Park. They are the days that we crave for.

“Every Cork hurling and football supporter, they are the days that we want. Support for Cork GAA has been incredible over the last number of years.”

Picture: Denis Minihane.
Picture: Denis Minihane.

Cork GAA has been making the headlines perhaps not in the way it would like in recent weeks, following the news that the county board reported significant financial losses for 2019. There is also a large debt on the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

When pressed for his views on the current state of affairs with the county board, Mulcahy feels that now is not the time for people on Leeside to dwell on the negatives, and instead to rally together.

“I think we can still go down on the negatives and stuff like that all these things.

“The reality is they are there and they have to be dealt with. We have to deal with them and we have to move on.

“We have to look forward to the days when supporters will come down here in their droves and support the teams, like they have done so many times in the past.

“Travelling also up the country going to Thurles, Limerick, Kerry, Dublin wherever we need to go to support the team in droves.

“I think it is about getting behind the teams now. I mean there has been a lot put in backroom teams and management.

“We have to be positive rather than focus on the negatives. We have taken an awful lot of criticism over the last couple of months.

“There has been a lot of negativity. I think now is the time to move on and be positive.”

Cork players Kevin Hennessy, Tomás Mulcahy, Mark Foley battle Tipperary's Michael Ryan and Conal Bonnar in 1991.
Cork players Kevin Hennessy, Tomás Mulcahy, Mark Foley battle Tipperary's Michael Ryan and Conal Bonnar in 1991.

No county has managed to do the double since Cork in 1990. That shows the significance of the achievement and it would be a very big task for anyone to do again.

On the face of it, Cork look one of the counties with the potential to ever do something like that again.

“I am not a man that can comment too much on football to be honest. But if you are a Cork GAA follower you would have looked at the success that they would have had,” describes Mulcahy.

“That augers well for the senior team going forward. It is great to have that going forward.

“If you look at that from a hurling perspective, maybe that is the one or two things that we have been lacking.

“We have been there in semi-finals or finals. We just didn’t get over the line. But there is still a lot of emerging talent. I am sure out of the hurling side of things at Minor and U21, there is a lot of those lads will make their senior debuts in 2020 as well.

“A lot will get their opportunity in the National League or Munster Hurling League. So I think there is an awful lot to look forward to.”

Mulcahy adds: “That is the thing realistically is you are coming from a county like Cork. You can take ladies football cnd Camogie into the equation and take men’s football and hurling as well. I think there is going to be a serious drive in 2020 for success in all codes.

“That is the way to have it. We’ve mentioned Teddy (McCarthy) as the dual star. Unfortunately you don’t see that now, as one guy has to concentrate on his individual sport.

“There is a serious amount of talent and an effort being put in at underage levels and schools. Hopefully it augurs well for 2020.”

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