Tipp star Pádraic Maher on guarding the Covid-19 frontline

You couldn’t think that six months later we would be in this situation’ – Tipp star Pádraic Maher on guarding the Covid-19 frontline

Tipperary hurling star Pádraic Maher

Tipperary hurling star Pádraic Maher

He’s best known for his herculean displays in a Tipperary jersey, but Pádraic Maher has been manning the frontline with the same defiance in his role as a Garda.

Maher is one of many at the coalface of the Covid-19 pandemic and the six-time All-Star admits that the jubilation after last year’s All-Ireland SHC success with the Premier seems like a long time ago.

“Thinking back to the celebrations and the good year that we had finishing up last August, you couldn’t think that six months later we would be in this situation but that’s life,” Maher said in an interview to be aired on The Sunday Game tonight.

“We’ve been dealt this in all of our lives, all over the world really, we just have to deal with it at the moment and we’re just here to help the vulnerable and help the community in general and be there for them and show that kind of solidarity.

 

“We want to give them some reassurance that everything will be okay and if they need any help that we’re here to help them. There’s a lot of check points all over the country, we are trying to regulate people and traffic as much as we can.

“It is tough at times explaining to people that ‘you’re making needless journeys’ but I hope at the end of the day that everyone realises that we’re just here to help everyone within the community and keep everyone as safe as we can.”

Tonight’s seasonal debut of The Sunday Game will be a strange one given that championship action is on the back burner until October at the earliest because of the coronavirus pandemic and Maher is missing his routine.

Tipperary hurler Garda Padraic Maher and Armagh footballer Doctor Caroline O’Hanlon share their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic and how they’re coping without Gaelic games. For more see The Sunday Game – @RTE2 9.30pm

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The 31-year-old, who has won three All-Ireland titles with Tipp, admits that county players are “programmed” for training and that he will have a new-found appreciation for the position he is in whenever the action resumes.

“You do miss it. No matter what county you’re involved in, we’re all programmed to be training four or five times a week. You just have to look after yourself in these circumstances,” the Thurles Sarsfield clubman said.

Padraic Maher of Tipperary wins a high ball over Seamus Harnedy of Cork during an Allianz Hurling League game last February. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Padraic Maher of Tipperary wins a high ball over Seamus Harnedy of Cork during an Allianz Hurling League game last February. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

“You just have to keep tipping away within the regulations and do your bit of training yourself for when the times comes, we don’t know when that will be, that we will be fully ready and that we can get back to what everybody is looking forward to and a bit of sports and a bit of hurling and football.

“Since the virus has taken over the country and the world, you are seeing different people and families and what they are going through and you have to be grateful for what you have.

“I’m lucky enough to be able to represent my county playing hurling which I’ve always loved doing, you can take it for granted at times but this certainly opens your eyes to the most important things in life.

“And if the opportunity does come again to go out and pick up a hurley and represent Tipp again and my county and my club, if anything I’ll enjoy everything more after seeing what we’ve all been going through the last couple of months.”

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