Clare’s goal-scoring machine, Shane O’Donnell, came within an inch of missing out on his All Ireland dream.
It has emerged that the Éire Óg teenager, who scored 3-3 in last weeks dramatic All Ireland win, would have missed the county’s last training session before the final, and with it his chance of starting in the big match, had it not been for the kindness of a Clare school teacher.
The 19-year-old, who has become an instant superstar in the Banner county, was running badly late for the county’s final training session, when teacher Fidelma Markham Cotter, spotted him hitchhiking in front of her house.
The pair struck up a conversation and, once Mrs Markham Cotter heard of the youngsters predicament, she offered to drive him to his home in Ennis, where he was able to collect his hurling gear and make it to training in the nick of time.
The story has gone viral online since it was published on the Facebook page of new Ennis business, Éire Óg Tours, on Saturday. The travel and bus hire company, which is owned by Mrs Markham Cotter’s niece, Michelle Cotter, says the post has received almost 1,500 ‘likes’ over the past two days – reaching a massive 48,000 facebook account holders.
“She doesn’t want to make a big fuss about it but she is one of hundreds and hundreds of people who contributed in some small way to getting the Clare hurlers to this All Ireland final,” said Michelle
“We were talking about it the other day and we were thinking that the whole rush to get him to the training match may actually have contributed to him convincing Davy [Fitzgerald] to pick him for the final. All the adrenaline or rushing to make the session.”
Shane O’Donnell was a surprise inclusion in the Clare team for the All Ireland final having been left out of the initial 15 announced by Davy Fitzgerald. The full forward has become a superstar since his All Ireland final heroics, and has even attracted the attention of music promoter Louis Walsh who said he would make a good addition to a boy band.
Indeed, such has been his rise to stardom, that he needed a garda escort to protect him from enthusiastic female fans after the traditional GOAL charity match which took place last Wednesday.
To view the post just search for “Éire Óg Tours” on Facebook.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - http://fightingtalknow.blogspot.ie/ Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]

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