Friday 15 November 2019

McCarthy row fails to make agenda

Challenging time: Monday night's strident player statement has increased the pressure on Justin McCarthy
Challenging time: Monday night's strident player statement has increased the pressure on Justin McCarthy
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

DESPITE the ongoing row which is threatening to undermine Limerick hurling this year there was no discussion on the issue at last night's county board meeting.

It was expected that the feud, involving manager, Justin McCarthy and last year's panel would be raised, but it didn't materialise.

Instead, the meeting went about its routine business and also ratified John Tuohy as a hurling selector.

There was no discussion on the stand-off between players and management, leaving the festering row to rumble on.

If anything, it has intensified following a hard-hitting statement by 24 players who are not prepared to play under McCarthy's managership.


With the start of the National League season just over four weeks away, time is running out for a county that has been mired in controversy since McCarthy omitted several top names from his preliminary panel.

Others withdrew their services in protest and any remote hopes of a settlement were dashed late on Monday night when 24 players issued a lengthy statement in which they lashed out at McCarthy and the county Board.

Among the claims made by the players were:

  • At no stage in the course of over 100 training sessions did McCarthy make any reference to alleged breaches in discipline.
  • Only when players withdrew from the panel did managers seek a meeting with them.
  • No player was unduly influenced by others to withdraw his services.
  • Players organised their own game plan for a championship clash with Wexford last year because they felt it was necessary to make some adjustments after losing to Waterford in the Munster semi-final.
  • Players received intimidating phone calls from members of the management team and backroom staff putting them under pressure to join the panel.

The players also stated that while the management were entitled to decide who should be on the panel, the manner in which long-serving players were left out without being contacted showed a lack of courtesy and didn't give due recognition to the services given to Limerick hurling.

Despite the withdrawal of several players, McCarthy has reiterated his intention to remain on.

He succeeded in fielding a team for a challenge game against Wexford last weekend, but the real pressure will come on if Limerick head into a very competitive Division 1 League campaign with a seriously weakened side.

Irish Independent

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