Friday 17 August 2018

Mayo Ladies manager releases statement following Cavan victory over 'walkout' involving 12 players and two selectors

Mayo manager Peter Leahy, right, and selector Michael Reynolds during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Group 4 Round 1 match between Cavan and Mayo at St Tiernach's Park, in Clones, Monaghan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Mayo manager Peter Leahy, right, and selector Michael Reynolds during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Group 4 Round 1 match between Cavan and Mayo at St Tiernach's Park, in Clones, Monaghan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Mayo Ladies manager Peter Leahy has said that the 12 players who left the panel this week did not do so for the same reasons.

Team captain Sarah Tierney, vice-captain Fiona McHale and Cora Staunton were among the dozen players, along with two team selectors,  who opted out of the squad in the days heading up to today's 3-23 to 4-13 win over Cavan.

A statement released through the LGPA claimed that they had left for 'personal and sensitive' player welfare issues.

The Mayo Ladies County Board subsequently came out and backed Leahy.

Leahy broke his silence on the matter and released a statement today.

It read: "On behalf of myself, as manager, and my management team, I would like to give the following statement regarding events over the last week.

"Firstly, I will not be discussing anything about any of the girls who have left the panel as there is a process in place and agreement in place, which I want to adhere to, in order to get the best possible outcome for Mayo Ladies.

"However, I do want to address the statement and the implications of the statement made on behalf of some of the girls who have left the panel.

"Firstly, it's correct that 12 girls who were on the panel have left, but it is incorrect to state that they have all left for the same apparent reasons.

"We will go through the timeline and the facts of how, we, as management heard of the players' departure.

"On Thursday July 5th, roughly one hour before our training session in the COE in Bekan and 10 days from our All-Ireland series championship match, I received a call from a particular club secretary. I was informed by the said person that all eight members of that club were withdrawing from the panel on the grounds of player welfare.

"I immediately informed the County Board chairperson, who in turn set the appropriate process in place.

"I then informed the remaining members of he panel of this club's decision and we went on to have a full session with the remaining panel that night.

"Over the next five days, four more members of the panel removed themselves from the county panel.

"Three of these four wrote messages to our Liaison Officer stating purely personal reasons for leaving the panel and not the reasons quoted by the previous eight.

"The other member who has removed herself from the county panel has not given any communication to any member of the county management to date.

"As previously stated in the Mayo LGFA County Executive statement they are continuing to give all the appropriate help to all parties involved and will continue with the process set in place.

"As manager, I want to clearly state that at no stage has any player been asked to leave the panel and I respect every player's right to choose to be involved at county level or to leave the panel.

"We are very proud of the players who took to the field today and how they have handled themselves over the last few days.

"They have conducted themselves in a very professional and respectful way in the face of immense emotional pressure. I would also like to thanks the rest of my management team for their honesty, courage, endeavour and faith in our process. I would like to thank the county board executive who have moved so swiftly, meeting all parties, listening to the facts and putting in place the process deemed necessary for the good of Mayo Ladies.

"I would also like to thank them for their full support both for myself, my management team and the players representing Mayo today.

"Thank you for your time and I will not be answering any further questions on the matter in respect of agreements made and out of respect for all players involved."

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