Community spirit encourages O'Donoghue
By Cian O’Connell
William O’Donoghue is trying to remain cool and calm.
There mightn’t be any collective training or matches on the agenda, but O’Donoghue is encouraged by the response of the GAA community.
The manner in which the Na Piarsaigh club has rallied in Limerick is a source of pride for O’Donoghue. “I think it absolutely has, and I think that’s something that should be noted,” O’Donoghue says about the relevance of the GAA assisting people.
“It's obviously filling press and papers and, you know, everything else with people's desire to see Championships and the panic around that and there's talk of the revenue loss and all that, but when you see what the GAA is doing for people to keep them safe.
“To keep them in good health and good spirits and make sure they're looked after I think that's something that should be publicised a whole lot more rather than the possibility of losing revenue or anything like that.
“What the GAA is doing across all communities and I know Na Piarsaigh GAA, our own club, are running a programme where they are collecting prescriptions and groceries and there's lots of volunteers.
“And, you know, a task is put into a WhatsApp group and within a minute I'd say every single one has been claimed that someone will go and do it and I'm sure that's happening right throughout the country.
“I think you know in times like this you have to look for positives and I think everyone's togetherness and willingness to support people has been very much a standout positive that I've noticed anyway. I think it's something that people should be, I suppose, much more aware of and much more, they should probably see how supportive we can be for one another rather than looking for the negative.”
Having made a blistering start to 2020 in the Allianz Hurling League, Limerick were motoring well before action ceased, but O’Donoghue stresses that much more worrying issues currently exist
“There is a lot more things that are frustrating more so than the season being staggered or halted,” O’Donoghue remarks.
“A lot of people including myself can't be with family relatives or close friends. There is a lot of people making much bigger sacrifices than the interruption we are facing in terms of our GAA calendar.
“Of course we were quite happy with the National League with a lot of scope for improvement. I wouldn't particularly say it was disappointing, but if it is given a green light and something does happen that we would pick in a better position than we left off.
“You can’t be looking back and saying ‘we were in a good place’ or ‘such-and-such could have been’.
“The events that have happened over the last few weeks aren’t exactly normal, aren’t exactly ones that anyone could have seen coming.
“You just have to take it as it comes and just look at it for what it was, take it for what it is which is a couple of good performances in February and early March.”
O’Donoghue is finding ways to maintain his fitness and sharpness. “I do have a wall to hit a ball against, it’s not too complex now, it’s probably the same thing I was doing when I was about eight years of age,” O’Donoghue laughs.
“But it’s a release, something to do. That’s all you can really do at the minute. You can’t compare it to the work that you would be getting done under normal circumstances because it’s just not relevant.
“You just have to stay safe, don’t put anyone in danger for you to try and develop your hurling or football [skills] if that’s the case, you just have to make do with what you have.
“Just stay somewhat sane and keep a positive outlook on everything. That’s it really. I’m not looking at it saying if we were still gyming collectively, or if I had access to a full gym I’d be in better physical condition, or if I’d access to a full pitch my shooting would be sharper or my hurling would be better.
“You just have to take it and be grateful with the outlets that you have. At the minute a wall and a couple of free weights to me are as good as anything else.”