Donal Óg Cusack
Sportsperson, TV Pundit
Donal Óg Cusack is an Irish hurling coach, selector and former player. He has been coach and selector with the Clare senior team since 2015. Cusack is regarded as the greatest goalkeeper of his generation.
Born in Cloyne, County Cork, Cusack was introduced to hurling by his father, a long-serving member of the local club team. He enjoyed Harty Cup success with Midelton CBS Secondary School while later enjoying championship successes with divisional side Imokilly and club side Cloyne. A championship medallist in the senior grade with Imokilly, Cusack also won a championship medal in the intermediate grade with Cloyne.
Cusack first appeared on the inter-county scene at the age of seveneteen when he first linked up with the Cork minor team. An All-Ireland medallist in this grade, he later won two All-Ireland medals with the under-21 team and one All-Ireland medal in the intermediate grade. Cusack made his senior debut during the 1996 Oireachtas Cup. He went on to play a key role for Cork as goalkeeper during a successful era, and won three All-Ireland medals and five Munster medals. Cusack was an All-Ireland runner-up on two occasions.
As a member of the Munster inter-provincial team, Cusack won one Railway Cup medal in 2005. Throughout his inter-county career he made 54 championship appearances, a record for a Cork goalkeeper. Cusack retired from inter-county hurling in March 2013 after effectively being dropped from the team.
Cited by many as one of the most influential inter-county players of his generation, through his championing of the cause of player welfare with Cork, as chairman of the Gaelic Players Association and his innovation as a goalkeeper, Cusack became the first opernly gay elite Irish sportsman in 2009.
After being involved in team management and coaching in all grades at club level with Cloyne, Cusack has been frequently linked to various inter-county managerial positions as well as working as a hurling analyst with The Sunday Game. He was appointed coach and selector to the Clare senior team on 26 October 2015.
As a sports professional and internationally renowned GAA star, Dónal Óg Cusack is well-versed in the area of Leadership, Sports, Media and Management.