Dublin star Philly McMahon has paid tribute to Eoghan O’Gara on his retirement, describing the Templeogue Synge Street attacker as “a very special guy” on and off the playing field.
O’Gara won seven All-Ireland SFC medals in his career with the Dubs — and ten Leinster SFC medals — and McMahon said that even in training O’Gara was a handful: “As a player Eoghan would have brought something specific in terms of marking, as a forward. He was a battering ram, basically, and when he won the ball you knew you’d have to foul him or push him away from the goal, basically, or get another defender in alongside to back you up.
“Because when he got the ball and turned he was gone, he was going straight at you, straight for the black spot.
“Obviously he did that to us in training time and time again, so I can only imagine what it was like for an intercounty opponents to have to face that, this fella coming in at them. We experienced that in Dublin training with him week in week out.”
However, McMahon also paid tribute to O’Gara’s thoughtfulness away from the field of play.
“The most special thing about Eoghan is the person that he is off the pitch.
He’s a guy who’s very thoughtful — I’ve mentioned in the past stuff like coming up to visit my own Dad when he was very ill, and Eoghan’s a very special guy like that.
“He thinks outside the box. I have to applaud him, because he has two kids and he’s living down in Wexford — he’s building a house down there — so to do what he did, in terms of putting that kind of time and commitment into playing for Dublin was a huge achievement.
“All of that is in addition to doing the other things which make him a special person. That’s the calibre of person and player he is.”
Philly McMahon was speaking at a community event organised by Gurranabraher Garda Station at Terence McSwiney Community College, Cork.