McCarthy refuses to comment as four more quit Limerick panel
MANAGER Justin McCarthy last night refused to comment on the deepening crisis in Limerick hurling after more players opted out of the 2010 panel.
Contacted by the Irish Independent, the embattled Limerick boss declined to discuss the withdrawal of Gavin O’Mahony, Tom Condon, Dinny Moloney and Stephen Walsh, which leaves him with just six of the 30-man panel named for last year’s All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary.
County Board officers were not contactable, but the action of the latest batch of players to join the disaffected group puts the Limerick controversy back in the spotlight. The six who remain are Paul Browne, Paudie McNamara, David Breen, Brian O’Sullivan, Graeme Mulcahy and Dave Moloney.
They will be included in a panel to be named for Limerick’s first game of the year, a Waterford Crystal Cup quarter-final on January 24 against the winners of Cork versus UCC. Limerick’s squad will be made up of the six players named above, plus the best of the 44 who engaged in trial matches pre-Christmas.
Time is technically on McCarthy’s side because the effect of the mass withdrawal won’t be felt until the team starts playing matches.
But the crunch will come when the shadow squad can’t match other county teams – as happened with Cork last year, when the Rebels were in dispute with manager Gerald McCarthy. The current status of the 24 players gone from the Tipperary match squad is detailed below.
LIMERICK PLAYER STATUS
Brian Murray (withdrew), Damien Reale (withdrew), Stephen Lucey (dropped), Mark O'Riordan (dropped), Seamus Hickey (withdrew), Brian Geary (withdrew), Mark Foley (dropped), Donal O'Grady (withdrew), Gavin O'Mahony (withdrew), James Ryan (withdrew), Ollie Moran (retired), Andrew O'Shaughnessy (dropped), David Bulfin (retired), Damien Cosgrave (dropped), Tom Condon (withdrew), Denis Moloney (withdrew), Niall Moran (dropped), Stephen Walsh (withdrew), James O'Brien (withdrew), Wayne McNamara (withdrew), Donncha Sheehan (dropped), Donie Ryan (dropped), Mike O'Brien (dropped), Eoin Foley (dropped).