Controversy over Wexford hurling manager appointment process

Questions surround the legitimacy of the Wexford senior hurling manager appointment process after a number of those shortlisted claimed they haven’t been contacted about the position.

Although it has been locally reported as many as 23 names have expressed interest in the role which Liam Dunne is determined to remain in, it is known a few of them, including Waterford hurling figures, haven’t even been contacted about it.

It is also understood as a show of respect to Dunne one prominent Wexford man who has been linked to the position does not wish to be associated to it as long as the 1996 All- Ireland winner is intent on staying on. Although it has been reported locally some clubs have expressed opposition to Dunne, the 48-year-old was the only name put forward by clubs before the nominations deadline.

Former Wexford football manager Jason Ryan is believed to be considering putting himself in the frame for the role. Frank Flannery, who recently stepped down as Cork coach, has distanced himself from speculation tieing himself to the job.

Nevertheless, a local newspaper continues to mention him as a target but his situation is made complicated by the fact he currently manages Dunne’s club.

Interviews for the senior position are set to take place next week with the interview committee comprising county chairman Diarmuid Devereux, secretary Mary Doyle, outing senior hurling liaison officer Dermot Howlin, former manager John Conran (Rathnure), Ibar Murphy (Shelmaliers), Philip Howlin (Duffry Rovers) and George Foley (Fethard).

Reservations about the county board’s behaviour towards Dunne have been obvious since March when a story about Dunne taking a short holiday in Spain a week prior to the Division 1 quarter-final against Waterford found its way into the media.

According to a source close to Wexford senior hurling, one individual was sounded about taking over from Dunne earlier this year when “things hit the wall for Wexford”.

However, Wexford lost to Waterford by one point and improved on a disappointing Leinster quarter-final showing against Dublin to beat Offaly in Wexford Park before pulling of an historic win over Cork in the qualifiers.

Eventually they exited the championship after a 10-point loss to Waterford in their All-Ireland quarter-final.

Wexford’s 2017 season begins in earnest with the visit of Limerick in their Division 1B opener on February 12 before a trip to Galway the following weekend.

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