Tuesday 25 June 2019

Offaly chief Byrne hits out at 'faceless critics'

Chairman welcomes challengers for position as Kelly confirms his Faithful backroom team

Kevin Martin. Photo: Sportsfile
Kevin Martin. Photo: Sportsfile

Colm Keys and Michael Verney

Offaly chairman Tommy Byrne has taken aim at "faceless people who never do anything for Offaly GAA" in the wake of reaction to Kevin Martin's sacking as Faithful hurling boss.

Byrne has come in for much criticism during his tumultuous second rein as Offaly chief, but he welcomes anyone who is dissatisfied with his stewardship to challenge him at county convention later this year.

The Gracefield clubman was also at the helm when football boss Stephen Wallace was ousted mid-championship last year but he remains unperturbed by his critics.

"Everyone is entitled to be nominated for this position. If they're not happy with what I'm doing, it's open to them for a club to nominate them and let them run against me," he said.

"When we replaced Stephen Wallace last year the very same people commented and haven't said a word since. If we did the opposite we'd get the same criticism.

"If we did nothing we'd be wrong and if we do something we'd be wrong too. Some of them are never there when you need something done for Offaly GAA.

"I'm down in the Faithful Fields getting ready to meet the new management tonight to prepare for the next two games. I'm getting on with it."

Offaly legend Joachim Kelly took his first session as interim manager last night as he looks to turn their fortunes around and avoid relegation to the Christy Ring Cup in their final Joe McDonagh Cup games against Antrim (home) and Kerry (away).

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Kelly is joined by former Offaly team-mates Paddy Kirwan and Danny Owens in his backroom team along with Ger Oakley, while Brian Carroll - who had been mooted to return in a playing capacity - will act as coach.

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