Clare star Shane O'Donnell weighing up a return to Boston

The 26-year-old spent several months at Harvard University in Boston across late 2018 and early 2019 and admitted there is an opportunity to return
Clare star Shane O'Donnell weighing up a return to Boston
Shane O'Donnell quickly grew sick of the attention his 2013 hat-trick in Clare's All-Ireland SHC win over Cork generated. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Shane O'Donnell has revealed he has an offer to return to the US and to "put hurling on pause for a while" but is leaning towards staying in Ireland.

Clare's hat-trick hero from their 2013 All-Ireland success expects to complete his PhD in microbiology at UCC in October.

He spent several months at Harvard University in Boston across late 2018 and early 2019 and admitted there is an opportunity to return.

In a fascinating interview on the theme of high performance with the Sleep Eat Perform Repeat podcast, O'Donnell said going back would mean parking hurling again.

The Ennis attacker, 26, also revealed he was "quickly quite sick of the attention" his 2013 heroics brought, that he was at the peak of his powers in 2014 before a serious hamstring injury, and that he dreams of one day getting involved in space travel.

Asked about life after his PhD, O'Donnell said he isn't fully sure and outlined his options.

"At the moment I'd kind of be swaying towards going into industry which is working in pharmaceutical labs and that kind of stuff," he said. "I did get the option to...I got offered a postdoc in the lab that I left from Boston so it's definitely weighing on my mind, do I want to maybe, not give up, but put hurling on pause for a while and move there.

"My girlfriend is in Dublin for the next couple of years so that's also something that I have to take into account. There's so many things I'd be losing by going to Boston, even though it's a great opportunity, it's probably not something I want to do really. 

"As much as I love science and research, I'd probably be kind of more business minded than I would pure research.

"So to get involved in a company and an industry side of things would certainly pique my interest. That's probably where I'm leaning towards at the moment but it's certainly not a foregone conclusion either."

O'Donnell shot to prominence in September of 2013 with 3-3 after a surprise recall for Clare's 5-16 to 3-16 All-Ireland final replay defeat of Cork.

"Immediately after, as in the moments after, were obviously incredible but after that, in a space of weeks, I was quickly quite sick of the attention that all that brought," he said. 

"I don't know, I can never very eloquently explain what I felt at the time but it wasn't enjoyable is how I try to summarise it."

O'Donnell craved a return to hurling but missed three months in 2014 due to hamstring trouble and then broke his hand.

"I tore my hamstring quite badly twice and was ruled out of the Championship," he recalled. "It's very unfortunate because I would say that was the best form I've ever been in."

Asked about what he'd like his legacy to be, O'Donnell said he hopes to have displayed that people can "marry education and sport" at a high level.

"As for what to be remembered for legacy(wise), there's a lot of things I would like to do, I would definitely like to get involved in space travel and that kind of stuff, getting involved ideally in being an astronaut or something," he said.

* The full interview with Clare's Shane O'Donnell on the 'Sleep Eat Perform Repeat' podcast can be accessed at

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