So much has been said and written about Davy Fitzgerald. All Ireland winning manager, player, All Star awards, he’s done it all. As a manager, he brought Waterford to an All Ireland final in 2008, their first appearance in the final since 1963.
After leaving Waterford he took on the Clare management job in 2011. Within two years, he brought the Liam McCarthy cup back to the Banner for the fourth time, this time as a manager. The previous two times the trophy made its way to Clare were in the 1990s. He was involved then too, as the goalkeeper who captured the imagination of the country.
Perhaps this is why we feel we know him. But is the public perception of Davy Fitzgerald different to who he really is?
This documentary is a project that began as the summer of 2015 drew to a close. Clare were knocked out of the championship by Cork, Galway lost the All Ireland final, Kilkenny champions yet again. Two days after that game, Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh approached Davy Fitzgerald to become involved. He didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardise their game, or that would be to the detriment of his players. She spent the next few months trying to get Davy to agree. He relented, eventually, so long as it was kept under wraps, as he wanted no distractions.
'Davy’ records the Clare hurling year, beginning with the appointment of Dónal Óg Cusack to the coaching set up, to their first game in January against Cork, all to way to the high of winning the National Hurling League, to being knocked out of the championship in July by Galway, days after Davy is admitted to hospital with heart trouble.
Davy is honest and open in this documentary. It’s clear he loves hurling, he loves Clare, and he loves his players and backroom team. He speaks of his motivations, what gets under his skin, what drives him on. He tells of the hours he has dedicated to Clare hurling. 'Davy’ is a window into the challenges he faces, and into the highs and the lows of inter-county management. People think they know Davy Fitzgerald because of what they see during the game, but what about before and after? This documentary had unique access to follow Clare’s 2016 hurling year and experience it through Davy’s eyes.
Narrated by Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh
Produced by Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh and Sarah Blake
Sound Supervision by Richard McCullagh.
Additional archive courtesy of Clare FM and Galway Bay FM.
First Broadcast on Saturday 27th August 2016 at 1pm
Repeated on Sunday 28th August 2016 at 7pm
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.