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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

'My earliest memories of All-Ireland finals were actually in the Bronx'

Marty Morrissey appears in the ‘All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final’ RTÉ documentary.

GAA COMMENTATOR MARTY Morrissey has opened up about his experience of developing a love for the GAA while growing up in New York, in an RTÉ documentary about the 2017 All-Ireland hurling final.

‘All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final’ offers viewers a different perspective of the game, where Galway ended 29 years of hurt against Waterford to claim the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

Marty M Marty Morrissey commentating at the All-Ireland final. Source: 'All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final' documentary

It considers what goes into organising the event to ensure it runs smoothly, and includes contributions from a number of key figures.

Morrissey, who was the Sunday Game commentator for the final, talks candidly about his early memories of the GAA scene in New York and how the sport enabled him to make friends when he later moved back to Ireland with his parents.

“My mother and father moved to New York in the 1950′s to try and make a living,” he explains.

What made our week was every Sunday going to Gaelic Park. It is where I got my passion for the GAA and what the GAA means.

“I was there in New York until I was almost 11 years of age until we bought the pub in Quilty (Co. Clare). It was different because the I was the Yank coming home from the States and probably had a bit of a twang. So, I needed to settle in.

“The GAA became for me, a way to make friends.”

He added:

My earliest memories of All-Ireland finals was actually in the Bronx and my father trying to find Mícheál O’Hehir on the radio. I’ve this image of him going out onto the fire escape and hearing Michéal O’Heir as loud as possible at the time.

“I’m sure the Americans and Portuguese and the Jamaicans who were around our building site were thinking, ‘what is your man doing out on the fire escape listening to a transistor?’

“But that was the picture, that was the scene and my lasting memory of All-Ireland finals.”

Morrissey also reminisced about his days attending St Flannan’s College where he played football and hurling.

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He was awarded a trial with the Clare senior hurlers, where an unfortunate pairing with one of Galway’s greatest ever hurlers marked the beginning and the end of his inter-county career.

“They put me in corner forward. And who was waiting for me in the corner? Sylvie Linnane. So, I never got a trial from the Clare hurlers after that. Sylvie finished my inter-county career in the hurling world.”

Marty Mor Marty Morrissey travels home to Clare every week to visit his mother. Source: All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final documentary

In addition to an interview with Morrissey, the documentary also features referee Fergal Horgan who was tasked with officiating the crunch tie.

Horgan was mic’d up during the action and the recordings illustrate how well he performed on the day.

Galway legend, and two-time All-Ireland winner Éanna Ryan also appears in the episode along with his son Joshua who was a team mascot for the final. Ryan pays tribute to teammate Tony Keady who passed away suddenly in August.

Fergal Horgan Referee Fergal Horgan preparing in the dressing room for the All-Ireland SHC final. Source: 'All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final' documentary

All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final, produced by Loosehorse. will be aired on RTÉ One this evening Bank Holiday Monday at 9.30pm.

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