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Cumann na mBunscol's Fintan Walsh honoured in Limerick   05/02/2020

The Council Chamber at Limerick Civic Offices in Merchant's Quay played host to a gathering of hurling greats this week as Mayor Michael Sheehan, a former primary teacher himself, honoured Michael O Grady and many other GAA personalities including household names like Eddie Keher, Mickey Whelan, Justin McCarthy and Mick Jacob. Michael was the man behind a coaching manual which he compiled in the mid 1980's but was never published. 

Ciarán Crowe takes up the story: 

'During the summer of 2019, we became aware of a book that Michael O Grady had put together in the mid 1980s. However, the book was never published. Michael, a Patrickswell native, managed Tipperary Limerick, Wexford and Dublin at different stages during the '80s and '90s, and was seen as a leading proponent of coaching during that period. Michael had asked various players of the 1980s to contribute essays about their own role, for example, Noel Skehan wrote about goalkeeping, Mick Jacob (Wexford) wrote about back play, John Connolly (Galway) contributed a piece about the role of the midfielder, Eamonn Cregan wrote about perfecting skills and Eddie Keher wrote about free taking. There were many other contributors on aspects such as psychological preparation (Donie Nealon),  fitness (Noreen Lynch RIP, Mickey Whelan) team management (Noel Drumgoole, Fr Séamus Garidner) and match analysis (Michael O'Grady), to mention just a few.

We asked Michael if he would allow us to present his material in a new book which would give present day players and coaches an opportunity to discuss how the game has changed over the years and, also, which elements remain the same.  Michael gave us his blessing to go ahead with the project which is one element of a book  titled ‘20/20 Vision… a Book about Hurling and Limerick.’

The book was released before Christmas and reached the best sellers list in a very short time. Mayor Sheehan decided to honour Michael for his vision and foresight. Michael in turn decided he would use the occasion to present a copy of '20/20 Vision, Hurling and Limerick' to each of the original contributors. Referee Tony Jordan was represented by his daughter Sharon and his wife Margaret while Brother John Greene was represented by his nephew Garrett.  Noreen Lynch, known to generations of students in Mary I was represented by her son Michael.

One of the most popular guests was Fintan Walsh who wrote a piece for the book on the care and maintenance of hurleys. Fintan has given a lifetime of service to Cumann na mBunscol and is active today, 49 years after Cumann na mBunscol was founded. 

'20/20 Vision, Limerick and Hurling' by Ciarán Crowe and Joe Lyons is published by Limerick City and County Council and is available online from