*Pictured at Drimnagh Castle in Dublin today, Clare’s Brian Lohan. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Clare may not be competing on either of the All-Ireland SHC semi-finals but in the hours before Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford take on Tipperary, his former team-mate Brian Lohan will be leading a tour of the stadium.
From 10am, Lohan will take GAA fans on a behind the scenes tour of Croke Park and the GAA Museum as part of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour Series.
In fact, it was an All-Ireland semi-final that Lohan last represented Clare in Croke Park, that being the 2006 eight point defeat to Kilkenny, a game which was also Anthony Daly’s final outing in charge.
Prior to that, Brian won two All-Ireland titles with the county in Croke Park and was named Hurler of the Year in 1995. His tour will offer GAA fans a special chance to experience Croke Park from the perspective of a player who represented their county on numerous occasions on the hallowed turf, tickets for which are available on Croke Park’s website.
“It’s a great honour to have been invited to host a tour of Croke Park as part of the 2019 Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour Series. It’s a fantastic idea for players to share some stories and a bit of insight into what goes on behind the scenes on big match days. I’m delighted to be able to look back at my own career and some of the massive games that Clare team had in Croke Park,” the Shannon man said.
While it is confirmed Brian will be leading Sunday’s tour, it is unlikely he will be passing on a message of support to former teammate Davy Fitzgerald should they bump into one another on Jones Rd before Wexford’s first All-Ireland SHC appearance since 2007.
Writing about their relationship in his autobiography, Fitzgerald outlined, “It’d be fair to say we’d fallen out big time, Brian having made the unprecedented call for “an independent review” of Clare hurling after our 2015 championship exit to Cork. He wanted the review conducted under the chairmanship of Ger Loughnane and, essentially, sought to have the county board excluded from the process, as it was “not independent enough. This I took as an obvious dig at my dad”.
He added, “My relationship with Lohan had never quite recovered from a row between us over a Fitzgibbon Cup game in 2014. There was a time he was as close to me as a brother. As Clare goalkeeper and full-back for the most momentous decade in the county’s history, I think it’s fair to say we had an almost telepathic relationship. But, more than that, I believed we were really tight, regularly golfing together, doing business together, all the time bouncing ideas off one another about hurling and what it was that made a winning dressing-room. Even in his role as University of Limerick’s hurling manager I gave Brian loads of detail of what we did at lit in terms of fundraising and general organisation”.
Speaking earlier this year, Lohan confirmed his relations with the Clare panels of the nineties were generally good but that he was not speaking to one player. “We’re all passionate about the game, but we don’t, we show it in different ways. He has the way he does things and people have to kind of fit into that, but I think some of the antics, they’re not great,” Lohan commented of Davy’s sideline behaviour.