No handshake with McCarthy still haunts Shanahan

October 16, 2010
Recently-retired Waterford star Dan Shanahan has described not shaking his former manager Justin McCarthy's hand after he was substituted in the 2008 Munster SHC clash against Clare as the "biggest mistake of my life".

In his soon to be released autobiography, 'If You Don't Know Me Don't Judge Me', the 2007 Hurler of the Year reveals that he received abusive texts in the wake of the heave against McCarthy which followed, as did other Waterford players and officials.

"I didn't know then that that was the start of me getting some amount of s***. If I'd even said to him after the match, 'Justin, I'm sorry I didn't shake your hand,' things might have gone differently, but I didn't," he said.

Shanahan recalls the awful atmosphere in the dressing-room after the crushing defeat by Clare in the Gaelic Grounds and the players immediately decided they could not continue under McCarthy.

"The unease was palpable. The players weren't speaking, they weren't engaging with management at all, and when we got on the bus, the majority of us went to the back. The talk was simple enough: he's got to go. It was that quick."

Following a meeting in Tramore two days later the players voted in favour of ousting McCarthy, and Shanahan goes on to describe the hate mail he received: "I got a call from the county board one evening and the chairman, Pat Flynn, said 'we've a letter here addressed to you but I'd advise you not to open it. I'll open it.'

"I told him to go ahead, and when he did, he said, 'I'm not showing you what's in this. It's disgusting.' A letter with a Kildare postmark."

Shanahan also received abusive text messages and contacted the Gardai: "I ended up going to the guards and the sergeant I spoke to asked if I wanted anything done. I said I just wanted to cover myself, but through another channel I eventually tracked down the address of the person sending them, and then, of course, I knew who it was.

"I wasn't the only one getting that kind of rubbish - Brick (Michael Walsh, Waterford player) was getting abusive texts as well as Jim Dee (Waterford official)."

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