Waterford forward Maurice Shanahan received an All-Star award for his performances throughout the summer, and in an interview with Drivetime on RTÉ, opened up about how far he has had to come to get to this point. Shanahan suffered from depression, and hurling helped him back on track. He spoke candidly about the tough experience.
“Last year was a bad year for me, but thankfully I am here today to tell that tale. I am here today because of my Waterford team-mates and my club Lismore, because of my family, my friends and my girlfriend. They got me through the bad times.
“[Depression] got on top of me and I couldn’t take any more of it. I’d go to work and when I came home, I’d lock myself into a room. I didn’t want to go to the hurling field. I didn’t want to do anything, I just wanted to lock myself away from it.
“I suffered for around two months before the help was given to me because my life was nearly taken. I knew them people were out there, but I never thought them people would understand my situation at the time. But thankfully they did.”
“The manager of the Lismore team at the time was Sean Prendergast. Sean was at my house trying to get me out, trying to get me back up to the field. For a while that didn’t work.
“Derek McGrath too was very good to me. I met Derek last Christmas and I wasn’t even going back playing hurling. ‘We won’t make any rushed decisions tonight’, he said. He said he would give me time to think about it and I said that was grand. I had no interest then, but the interest gradually came back.”
“It doesn’t matter if you play sport or not, whoever is going through a bad time, the one bit of advice I would give them is to always talk to someone. You can’t bottle it up inside because if you do, it could get the better of you. Just pick up the phone and tell a friend, tell anyone. Just talk.”
Fair play to Maurice for opening up about such a difficult issue. It is great to see that he has pulled through a tough period, and helped the Déise to an historic year, putting in some superb performances along the way.
Hat-tip to the Irish Examiner.