Friday 23 March 2018

Limerick stalemate continues as chairman moots mediator route

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THE Limerick hurling stalemate continues after no new initiatives emerged at last night's County Board meeting.

County chairman Liam Lenihan told delegates that the Board were prepared to engage a professional negotiator in an effort to break the deadlock which has left the county fielding a largely second-string hurling team so far this year.

However, delegates felt that the mediation route had been mooted last December, but had produced nothing. Frustrated delegates demanded an end to the divisive issue, either through a change of manager or a show of support for Justin McCarthy.

However, if clubs want to propose a change of management, it will have to be done in writing and considered by a special meeting.

Lenihan said that the team management and board executive were available for talks at all times.

He also expressed the view that a professional mediator was needed in the search for a solution to a row which has rumbled on since last October when McCarthy left several members of the 2009 squad off his new panel.

Lenihan denied that any pressure had been applied to younger members of the panel in an effort to persuade them to return to action.

"This problem can only be sorted out by talking; the team management and executive are available for talks and I now believe we need a professional mediator," he said.

A report from selector John Tuohy appeared to indicate that progress could still be made.

It's understood that Croke Park, who declined to enter the row a few weeks ago, were reluctant to become involved because their preliminary examination of the situation indicated that it was impossible to broker a solution at that stage.

Limerick have lost their opening two League games to Galway and Cork and head into their third game on Sunday when they take on Waterford in Dungarvan.

Longford, meanwhile, have decided not to pursue their bid to have the result of their controversial Division 4 National Football League clash with Limerick overturned.

Their attempt to be awarded the points was rejected by the GAA's Hearings Committee last week.

It's understood that the rejection of Longford's case was based on the principle that changing a result in these circumstances could set a dangerous precedent.

That's no consolation to Longford, who now seem certain to remain in Division 4 for another year at least.

Irish Independent

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