Shane O’Donnell's Harvard trip a gut check to Clare's 2019 plans

Shane O’Donnell will miss most, if not all, of Clare’s 2019 Allianz Hurling League Division 1A campaign after he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the prestigious Harvard University.

The UCC Quercus Sports Scholar, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Genetics from the university in October 2016 and is currently studying a PhD there, heads to Cambridge, Massachusetts in September and returns in the spring of next year. The Fulbright Program, Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange, provides for Irish citizens to lecture, research or study in the US and for American citizens to do the same in Ireland. Set up in Ireland in 1957 but established by US senator J. William Fulbright in 1946, 8,000 international awards are given out annually.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner last year, the 24-year-old gave a summation of his PhD topic: “It’s food science which is the broad subject. Genetics plays a part — it plays a part in everything, after all. I’m working on these specific sugars, different carbohydrates — you’d know some of them, sucrose, lactose that would be in milk. There are 11 of them and bacteria break them down and they react in people’s guts.”

Éire Óg, Ennis man O’Donnell was one of the first recipients of the Quercus scholarship in UCC in 2014, the year after he scored 3-3 to help Clare claim a famous All-Ireland final replay win over Cork. The forward played in Clare’s Division 1 quarter-final defeat to Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds on Monday.

Meanwhile, Na Fianna are ready to launch an appeal against the planned €3 billion Metrolink project, which will see their main pitch as well as other facilities requisitioned. The new Swords to Sandyford line hopes to open by 2027.

Na Fianna, the home club of new GAA president John Horan, claimed yesterday they were only informed about the news on Friday.

“The club is naturally very concerned and alarmed with this news,” their statement read. We are also deeply disappointed by the lack of respect afforded that a decision of this magnitude was advised to CLG Na Fianna, less than 48 hours prior to the formal Government announcement.”

Na Fianna’s Dublin defender Jonny Cooper tweeted: “The NTA (National Transport Authority) are forgetting to mention they are TAKING our main GAA pitch and 2 all weather pitches from @clgNaFianna. We cater for 125 teams & have over 3,500 people from the community ENGAGED. This project is supposed to bring people together not force US apart.“


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