Dublin: 14°C Sunday 22 May 2022

'I don't think selfie sticks have made it down to Galway GAA just yet'

Joe Canning is probably the most well-known person in Galway but he doesn’t pay too much attention to it.

Canning has won three Allstar awards since debuting for Galway in 2008.
Canning has won three Allstar awards since debuting for Galway in 2008.

APPARENTLY THERE’S NO show like a Joe show, and if you’ve had chance to watch one of hurling’s marquee forwards in action, you would probably tend to agree.

The President of Ireland is from Galway but if Michael D Higgins and Joe Canning were walking around Eyre Square together, there would probably be more selfie sticks thrust in the direction of the Portumna hurler, and not just because he is closer in age to the demographic that use them.

Canning has been seen as the county’s great hurling hope since winning an All-Ireland minor title at 15. And after collecting another crown the following year, many Galwegians thought a first senior All-Ireland since 1988 would be a formality.

Galway haven’t won the ultimate prize just yet, but after amassing three Allstars during his seven-year inter-county career, Canning’s profile is still pretty high in his native county.

He is based in Dublin, but admits to The42 that it can be a little strange walking around back home and having everyone recognise him. However, he still doesn’t mind signing autographs or posing for photos with fans.

“It is a bit weird,” Canning said.

“I don’t see what the big deal about it is really. I find it embarrassing [when people ask him] more than anything else. It doesn’t really happen to me that often actually, just after games mostly and I am happy to oblige.”

One worrying trend has crept into the sports star/fan relationship recently, and it can best be summed up in this photo of Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien.


Thankfully for Canning’s sake, a fan hasn’t almost accidentally taken his eye out with one of these obnoxious contraptions just yet.

“I haven’t got any requests with selfie sticks yet,” he laughs.

“I don’t think selfie sticks have made it down to Galway GAA just yet.”


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Canning says he doesn’t really think of himself as famous, and spends a lot of time just hanging around with his family.

“It is not something I really think about too much,” Canning said.

“I am quite a private person and I spend a lot of time with my family and nieces and nephews. At home I am just an uncle or a brother.”

Joe Canning is taking part in the Wings for Life run on 3 May. Wings for Life is a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation, whose mission is to find a cure for spinal cord injury. They fund scientific research and clinical trials around the globe aimed at healing the injured spinal cord.  To donate, click here.

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