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Dunne says HQ blocking Slaney move for Butler

Wexford manager Liam Dunne claims he is fighting against the GAA to get Paudie Butler on board as part of his backroom team.

Dunne says his attempts to bring in the former Laois manager as a full-time selector have been thwarted by Croke Park.

According to the Oulart-the-Ballagh man, Butler wants to work alongside him but the move has been blocked by GAA HQ.

The Tipperary native took the Wexford hurlers for an indoor session over the Christmas period but has told Dunne he is unable to come on board in an official capacity.

Butler, the former national director of hurling, was unavailable for comment yesterday but the GAA confirmed he has a coaching role with them.

As per rule, a GAA employee is not permitted to be a member of an inter-county management team.

However, a GAA spokesperson insisted Butler is free to fulfil an advisory role with Wexford.

But Dunne countered: "I think the handcuffs should be taken off Paudie Butler because, as most people think about Wexford hurling, we are in crisis.

"I asked him to help out a year ago and he said he would but over Christmas he said he didn’t know what way he could come in. I don’t think Croke Park want him helping us out."

Over the weekend, GAA director general Páraic Duffy expressed his concern about the drop in standard of hurling in Wexford.

"The one disappointment, the one that would worry me is Wexford," he said. "When I was growing up, Wexford were a great hurling power.

"Then you had the days of Liam Griffin when they again came back to the top and everybody in the country rejoiced. They seem to have slipped back — that is an issue of concern."

Dunne believes Croke Park would send a strong signal about their concern for Wexford hurling by allowing Butler to become part of his management team.

"It’s easy to talk about it. I haven’t seen a whole lot happening. The same thing was said about Dublin 15 years ago and I’m not sure how many millions were pumped into there. I’m not saying it’s all about millions. What I’m looking for is nothing like that but a person who I believe will be of great benefit to the Wexford senior hurling team. We’re not asking for a lot.

"Paudie Butler is a top class coach and is more than willing to come in to help. If people are concerned about Wexford then they should allow him."

Dunne is also looking to Croke Park to do something about the dual player conundrum facing Wexford on June 8 and 9. Lee Chin and Andrew Shore will split commitments between both senior panels but Dunne’s hurlers are scheduled to play their Leinster quarter-final against Dublin less than 24 hours prior to Aidan O’Brien’s footballers face Laois or Louth.

"I have no problem with them playing football the following day but (Wexford football manager) Aidan O’Brien might have a problem with that. If Páraic Duffy wants to help us he can have a look at that."

Dunne confirmed another prospective dual player, Ciaran Lyng, is almost certain not to be lining out for the hurlers this year as he gets treatment on a tendon problem in his hip.

"Matthew O’Hanlon is studying in Madrid then is off to America in May. He’s a huge loss. Diarmuid O’Keeffe is going off for the summer and Liam Óg McGovern is gone with injury as well. They’ll all be missed."

With Croke Park believing some of the Football Review Committee proposals can be transferred to hurling, Dunne has some words of caution. "There is good in the advantage rule. It will be back to the discretion of the referee but I think it will only help the game. But I’d be very careful with bringing in anything to hurling... don’t mess around with hurling, leave it alone, is what I would say."