Republic of Ireland news

GAA pundit blames 'last remnants of British culture' for criticism of defensive hurling tactics

RTÉ Pundit and former Cork hurling goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack said: "I believe the accusation of disrespecting the tradition of the game is part of the last remnants of British culture on these islands."

A high-profile former hurler has become embroiled in a social media storm after he likened criticism of defensive tactics in the game to the "last remnants of British culture on these islands".

Donal Óg Cusack, a three-time All-Ireland winner, ignited debate following comments about the use of a 'sweeper' in last weekend's Wexford v Tipperary championship semi-final clash.

Delivering his analysis on RTÉ's The Sunday Game, the former Cork goalkeeper hit out at those who took issue with Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald's defensive tactics.

Former Waterford boss Derek McGrath, who also took part in the programme and has deployed a sweeper with his team, was also defended.

"Innovation is the lifeblood of any game. A lot of the way that Davy and Derek have been challenged, it's as if they have been disrespecting the game," Mr Cusack said.

"I'd actually say not to innovate is actually disrespecting the game... I believe the accusation of disrespecting the tradition of the game is part of the last remnants of British culture on these islands.

"The British invented a lot of games but they struggled to accept and adapt the wider influences in their games.

"What I mean is the long ball, John Bull, Jack Charlton type spirit. I'm delighted the modern player has moved on.

"Back to our games, if you go into any modern, inter-county dressing room, they know that the game has moved on."

Fellow RTÉ pundit and former Derry footballer Joe Brolly posted part of the interview on his Twitter account, taking issue with the comments by saying: "We are in an era of absurdism."

Former Waterford hurler Ken McGrath tweeted: "Absolute nonsense egos gone out of control."

Others posted comments in support, however, with some users saying he was "spot on".

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