Saturday 21 October 2017

'Something has to give in Offaly hurling'

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has stepped in to mediate. Photo: PA
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has stepped in to mediate. Photo: PA
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Offaly should "move heaven and earth" to create the right conditions for the review/implementation committee for the county's Hurling Pathway Plan to return to their work, one of the county's former hurlers Brendan Murphy has suggested.

The committee, headed by Liam Hogan, resigned en masse in July over the lack of progress.

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has since stepped in to mediate.

"Before anything has even happened they have a mediator in place which doesn't augur well," said Murphy. "If you look at Offaly hurling, three years, three different managers. Very little success at senior level, very little success at underage level. Without being too critical, it's their (County Board) job. The Offaly County Board are there to manage the successes of Offaly GAA.

"At the moment they are a common denominator between different managers coming in and out, between everything that's happened governing underage.

"The committee came in, they've walked. The board is the common denominator and either they change their approach on things or the same as any company, if things aren't working you need to get new management on board maybe, I don't know," he suggested.

"It's easy for me to sit here and they turn around and say that I haven't put my name forward to be county chairman.

"At the same time, I think something has to give. I think Offaly need the likes of Brian Carroll and Liam Hogan. Move heaven and earth and if things need to change at county board level to get more of that calibre of guy involved, maybe that needs to happen."

Murphy would prefer to leave the All-Ireland hurling championship as it is after a decent season and doesn't see the point in change.

The prospect of relegation to a second tier could have further detrimental effects on hurling in his native county, he accepted.

"I thought it was a good year for Leinster hurling. Then, obviously, the champions of Leinster won the All-Ireland as well so I don't think anyone could crib about the hurling championship. From an entertainment point of view, I thought it was great."

Irish Independent

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