Sunday 25 February 2018

'His interest is in his popularity, not Clare hurling' – Ger Loughnane launches stinging attack on County chairman

"The PR exercise is an insult to people’s intelligence"

Ger Loughnane
Ger Loughnane Newsdesk Newsdesk

Double All-Ireland winning coach Ger Loughnane has heavily criticised the actions of Clare County chairman Michael McDonagh and said his position is "completely and utterly untenable".

Loughnane, who led the Banner to Liam McCarthy success in 1995 and 1997, was speaking with regards the "PR exercise" currently taking place.

The RTE analyst, speaking in The Clare Champion, feels McDonagh is using his role to attempt to gain a Fianna Fáil nomination at this Friday’s Convention which takes place in Ennis.

"I think the chairman’s position, by his actions, is completely and utterly untenable," he said. "If we want to have a future, we need to look at the whole setup and that includes officers in the county board. Have we the right officers to pursue the right agenda for the future?

“His [Michael McDonagh’s] interest is short-term and his interest is not in the future of Clare hurling. His interest is in his own popularity. He is pursuing a political career and all of his own utterances and actions are aiming to improve his status in the area.

“It has nothing whatsoever to do with the future of Clare hurling. It’s just a PR exercise that is so badly carried out that it’s an insult to people’s intelligence that he thinks he is getting away with it.”

McDonagh dismisses the accusations and believes it was a tactic to damage his election bid.

"The suggestion that any comments I made are self-serving or politically motivated are wrong and appear to me to be intentionally misleading and intended to damage my candidacy in Friday’s Fianna Fáil selection convention.

“In politics, as in life, it is nearly as important to have the right people against you, as to have the right people backing you.”

Clare endured another disappointing season following their 2013 All-Ireland success, bowing out to Cork in the backdoor with question marks surrounding the future of Davy Fitzgerald.

It has been reported locally that Loughnane could chair a committee investigating the performance of the senior hurlers, but he has stated he will only take on that role if he has a guarantee his recommendations are acted on.

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