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'My ambition growing up was never to get to Croke Park, it was just if we could win one Munster'

Clare hurling great Sean McMahon is this week’s guest on the Warriors podcast.

clare-homecomming-1995 Celebrations during Clare's memorable summer in 1995 Source: Tom Honan/INPHO

A CLARE HURLING icon is our guest this week on Warriors as their 90s defensive star Sean McMahon joins us.

A pillar of the Banner side that won Munster and All-Ireland titles, McMahon selected his three favourite games from his GAA playing days in the latest episode of Warriors, the GAA podcast for members of The42.

The three-time All-Star winner reflected on a glittering career where he also enjoyed huge success with his club St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield.

McMahon picked the 1995 Munster final, the 1999 Clare county semi-final and the 2002 All-Ireland quarter-final as the games that had special significance for him.

sean-mcmahon-2872002-digital Sean McMahon in action for Clare against Galway in 2002 Source: INPHO

25 years on, he explained why that famous breakthrough in Munster had such a deep personal meaning.

“The dream in Clare was just to win the Munster final. I was at the ’81 Munster final, I was at the ’86 Munster final, there in ’93, played my first one in ’94 and at that stage, all heartache for me.

“And you look at the older generation in Clare who would have gone through with that Clare team of the 70s. Even going back further there was the ’55 Munster final where Clare beat Cork and Tipp, and were hugely favoured to beat Limerick and didn’t.

“So all we grew up with in Clare was heartache about Munster finals and going to Thurles and Limerick and these places with great expectation and coming home heartbroken. I’d experienced that myself as well.

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“So my ambition growing up was never to get to Croke Park or get to an All-Ireland final, it was just if we could win one Munster final. At the start of my days with Clare if you told me I could win one Munster final, I’d have bit your hand off for it and asked for no more. That’s why the day was just my favourite day from a county perspective.”

sean-mcmahon-clare-hurling-1995 Clare hurler Sean McMahon

There was a lot more to the chat as McMahon talked about his personal development after the 1994 final where Clare were convincingly defeated by Limerick and how he famously played with a broken collarbone at the end of the 1995
Munster semi-final against Cork as Clare claimed a dramatic victory.

He went through his free-taking practice sessions with his father and the great local rivalry between McMahon’s St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield and Clarecastle, the club of Anthony Daly and Sparrow O’Loughlin.

Listen to the full interview by subscribing here and check out the back catalogue featuring episodes with Declan Browne, Ken McGrath, Briege Corkery and Alan Kerins.

st-josephs-bench-celebrate1731999 St Joseph's Doora-Barefield players celebrate their 1999 All-Ireland club final victory Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO


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Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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