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'We stood up, we fought, we stuck together and we came out the other side' - Donal Óg on Cork strike

Cusack is the subject in the first episode of the new series of TG4′s Laochra Gael.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DONAL ÓG CUSACK says the Cork squad had no other choice but to go on strike to remove Gerald McCarthy as manager in 2009.

Cusack, who is the subject of the first episode in the new series of Laochra Gael on TG4 next Wednesday, was a central figure in the infamous stand-off between the Rebels and the county board.

The unrest dragged on for months until McCarthy eventually resigned as manager that March after receiving death threats.

The three-time All-Ireland SHC winning goalkeeper says the players were left with no alternative to striking.

“Myself and John [Gardiner] said we need to go and talk to Gerald face-to-face and tell him what was going on. So, we told him the story, told him that the players didn’t have confidence in him.

Cusack continued: “Gerald made it clear to us that night that he wasn’t going anywhere. We went back to our players and said: ‘This is the choice that we have. What do you want to do?’

“I think it was unanimous that the players would go on strike, thus starting that whole winter of, if you like, misery again.

“Going into it, the question we were faced with: Do we finally yield to the board and back down from them or do we stand up and fight for what we believed in? I regret anybody got hurt in it. I regret Gerald had to be in the position he had to be in, because the fight was between the players and the board, yet the board knew exactly what they were doing.

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“But in terms of regretting what we did? The only regret I have is that we didn’t give them half enough of it, that when we had our foot on their chests that we should have went all the ways. We stood up, we fought, and we stuck together and we came out the other side.”

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Donal O’Grady, Eddie Brennan and Eoin Kelly all feature in the episode, which airs on 15 March.

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