Friday 22 March 2019

Galway minor hurling boss considered calling gardai after verbal abuse over selection decision

Jeffrey Lynskey. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Jeffrey Lynskey. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Galway minor hurling manager Jeffrey Lynskey has revealed that he recently considered contacting gardaí after a member of the Galway county board was verbally abused over a decision Lynskey had made.

While acknowledging that some criticism and anger come with the territory, Lynskey, who is hoping to guide Galway to a third All-Ireland MHC title in four years on Sunday week, insisted that the incident in question was alarming.

"Some of the stories I have are funny, some of them are less so," said Lynskey, who has also been on the receiving end of abusive letters.

"Members of the board, officials, would have been attacked, and that was only about six weeks ago.

"Verbally attacked over stuff that I would have done regarding panels and not picking lads.

"And you're thinking, 'Right, is this the time now to go to the guards with it to protect myself?'

"This type of stuff, does it concern me? The incident a couple of weeks ago did because of the vitriol that was there and the angst that was there and the toxicity of it."

"So I said to myself, 'Right, if I hear another thing here I'm going to move on this.'"

Galway senior hurling manager Micheál Donoghue revealed that he has also received poison pen letters in the past with the pair joining John Kiely, James Horan and Eamonn Fitzmaurice in revealing they or their players have been the subject of hate mail.

Horan stated he had involved the gardaí while Fitzmaurice revealed that one of his players received a letter in which he was told to jump off a cliff.

"Something that changed this summer was players, and one player in particular, that got a letter and it was more what was in the letter that annoyed me. I felt it was gone too far," Fitzmaurice said.

"The player was told to jump off a cliff and take three or four other players with him. They were named in the letter. I felt that was going way too far.

"When it's coming at a manager, and the selectors got a few this summer as well, which was no harm for them to get a touch of it. When it goes to a player, it's gone too far.

"The lads are amateurs. They are as good a bunch as you'll meet. I'll always defend them to the hilt.

"It was during the summer, it was recently.

"I didn't tell that player that I was going to discuss this. I hadn't planned to say that. For the same player, it would be water off a duck's back.

"I thought it was poor form to be honest about it.

"I think it's time to shout 'stop' when players are getting strongly-worded letters like that."

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