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22nd May 2023

Joanne Cantwell flooded with support after putting Donal Óg Cusack on the spot on The Sunday Game

You could cut the tension with a knife in The Sunday Game studios.

Joanne Cantwell and Donal Óg Cusack got stuck into it on this Munster championship Super Sunday. Anthony Daly and Joe Canning were the first to arrive on the scene.

It all started when Cantwell decided to take Óg Cusack up on his recent comments about football’s second-tier competition, the Tailteann Cup.

Speaking in his ‘Hurling Nation’ piece on Morning Ireland a fortnight ago, the Cork man had branded the Tailteann Cup as a ‘Grand National for disappointed also-rans.’

The former goalkeeper took plenty of flak in the aftermath and, during RTÉ’s coverage of Sunday’s games, show anchor Joanne Cantwell put him on the spot.

Follow the clash here.

Joanne: Why would you do that?

Donal Óg: So we’re here to talk about hurling, but now we’re talking about Gaelic football?

Joanne: Yeah.

Donal Óg: Did you hear the programme?

Joanne: I did yeah.

Donal Óg: Do you listen to it every week?

Joanne: Yes.

Donal Óg: What’s the premise of it?

Joanne: What’s the premise of it? Hurling nation. But that’s regardless. You came out and decided to talk about the Tailteann Cup, and referred to it as a Grand National for non-runners, or also-rans. Why would you do that?

Donal Óg: Are they happy to be in the Tailteann Cup?

Joanne: That doesn’t really matter. They’re happy to have…

Donal Óg: You’re asking me what I said. First of all now, we’re here to talk about one of the best hurling days that we have. You can listen to me every Friday morning if you want, just after half past seven.

Joanne: He gets his ad in.

Donal Óg: So you’re asking me a question about what I actually said, I’m explaining to you what I said.

Joanne: Well you said it’s a Grand National for also-rans.

Donal Óg: That’s not exactly what I said.

Joanne: It is…tell us what you said then?

Donal Óg: No, you were listening to it. You tell me.

Joanne: Well you said it was a Grand National for also-rans.

Donal Óg: Joanne, we’re here to talk about hurling. And next time you come asking me the questions, quote me correctly.

Joanne: Well then tell us the quote, was it not a Grand National for also-rans.

Donal Óg: You started it. You didn’t quote me correctly.

Anthony Daly: Come on Joanne, let’s talk about the hurling.

For clarity, Óg Cusack appeared to take issue with Cantwell leaving out the word ‘disappointed’ from his quote. His letter-for-letter quote regarding the Tailteann Cup was “a sort of Gaelic football Grand National for disappointed also rans”.

Following the heated debate, Joanne has been flooded with support online as she trends second on Twitter in Ireland.

One person said: “Joanne Cantwell asked the question that any good journalist would ask. The slack she’s getting is baffling. Donal Og should’ve been better prepared especially with the amount of coverage it got all week.”

Another added: “Surely, when you make comments about another competition, you deserve to be pressed on it? Fair play to @Joanne_Cantwell Sounds like Dònal Òg hasn’t thought through his answer at all.”

While a third wrote: “This is not a good look for Donal Òg Cusack, perfectly reasonable questions – Joanne Cantwell one of the best in the business.”