Sunday 27 May 2018

Barry-Murphy in line for comeback after Cork part ways with Walsh

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The path has been cleared for Jimmy Barry-Murphy to return as Cork hurling manager with the possibility of Ger Cunningham as coach alongside him.

Denis Walsh was yesterday informed that his term is not to be extended and has now been linked with the Waterford job should Davy Fitzgerald's term with the Deise come to an end.

Cork County Board's announcement -- that the committee charged with making a recommendation for the position had decided that a new manager was required -- has hardened the view that Barry-Murphy will return to the position he vacated more than a decade ago.

It is understood that the Leeside legend is top of the list to replace Walsh and is interested in the role. A manager-coach template, similar to that adopted by Tipperary when Liam Sheedy was installed, is thought to be the favoured approach.

Former goalkeeper Cunningham would be a popular choice for the coaching position, having served under both Donal O'Grady and John Allen between 2003 and '06, while Paul O'Connor and Sean O'Brien, well known in club circles, and Pat Hartnett and Brian Corcoran have also been put in the mix.

Cunningham would have been the players' choice to succeed Allen in '06 but the position instead went to Gerald McCarthy. Walsh has been manager of Cork for the past two and a half years -- he was appointed by a committee that featured Barry-Murphy, Denis Coughlan and John Fenton.

But after losing to Galway in the qualifiers this year his three-year term was completed and despite a desire to continue, the committee have removed him from the picture.

A meeting on Sunday evening set that process in motion, but the statement released last night confirming Walsh would not be reappointed was deeply appreciative of the role he had taken on in such difficult circumstances after the third players' strike in 2009.

Barry-Murphy previously managed Cork from 1996 to 2000, landing the All-Ireland title in 1999.

In his time, Sean Og O hAilpin, Donal Og Cusack and Ben and Jerry O'Connor all made their debuts. Barry-Murphy is seen as the great unifier in Cork hurling after a stormy few years.

Irish Independent

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