Limerick legend McDonagh retires
April 29, 2004
Limerick hurling legend Stephen McDonagh has announced his intercounty retirement after twelve years on the senior county panel.
The 34-year-old Bruree clubman helped Limerick to All-Ireland finals in 1994 and '96, winning a pair of provincial championships along the way, and also played in the Munster finals of 1995 and 2001. He won a national league medal in '97.
One of the most celebrated backs of the modern era, McDonagh took the art of defending to a new level, earning a legion of admirers inside and outside his native county.
But the vastly experienced veteran was unable to force his way into the reckoning under Pad Joe Whelehan. On the decision to end his involvement with the county team, McDonagh revealed:
"When I came home from Galway on Sunday night I said 'That's it.' During the spring I missed a few weeks of training. We had a new baby and I was tied up at work.
"I needed a few games under my belt if I was to be ready to face Cork and I did not get them. I felt I would not be able to do myself justice. I didn't want to be waiting until I got a shot against Cork and find I wasn't properly prepared."
"I had a good innings. I've made the right decision. I had eleven or twelve great years and, while I never got to win an All-Ireland medal, that wasn't the be-all and end-all. Don't get me wrong - I would have loved to get a medal, but as a young fellow my ambition was to hurl for Limerick. A lot of players don't get that honour, but I did."
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