Tuesday 20 February 2018

Croke Park and GPA on stand-by in move to settle Limerick row

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

CROKE Park and the GPA are on stand-by to make a dramatic last-ditch attempt to settle the Limerick hurling row if the players agree to enter mediation talks.

Limerick secretary Mike O'Riordan was instructed at Tuesday night's County Board meeting to contact all members of the 2009 panel individually to ask them if they would enter into mediation talks, chaired by Croke Park officials.

It's regarded as a final desperate attempt to end the stand-off which has seen most of the 2009 panel withdraw in protest over the manner in which some players were omitted from the squad by manager Justin McCarthy last October.

GAA president Christy Cooney said yesterday that Croke Park would only become involved "if all parties are serious about trying to progress to a solution.

"We are not going to get involved if any of the parties are not willing to give that kind of commitment," he said.

The GPA is also prepared to become involved, but CEO Dessie Farrell expressed doubts over whether mediation would work.

"By all means, if it is to help, it should be explored -- but I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel through the mediation channel. I think it probably should have happ-ened earlier. The players seem to be very set in their opinion," he said.

Limerick chairman Liam Lenihan said that the mediation proposal was a genuine attempt to find a solution to a bitter row which threatens to leave the county with a seriously depleted team this year.

"If the players sat down with the management last November or agreed to mediation, this could have been sorted a long time ago. But even at this stage it not too late. The good of Limerick hurling is all that counts," he said.

Limerick open their League programme against Galway in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday week.

Irish Independent

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