Bizarre scenes as Clare star Tony Kelly refused entry to stand at Cusack Park

There was a peculiar incident involving star Clare hurler Tony Kelly before his side’s Allianz National League tie with Kilkenny in Ennis on Sunday.

Kelly sat out the game ahead of his club side Ballyea’s All-Ireland club decider with Cuala or Slaughtneil on March 17.

But he was in attendance in Cusack Park and attempted to take a seat in the stand 30 minutes before the throw-in.

Speaking today on the PaperTalk GAA podcast, Irish Examiner GAA correspondent John Fogarty takes up the story:

“Tony Kelly and someone from the Clare backroom team were attempting to get into the central part of the stand and Tony Kelly was refused.

“They tried to explain it was Tony Kelly, to which the steward replied he knew who he was but he still wasn’t getting in.

“The steward recommended that Kelly try the other side of the stand but said he certainly wasn’t getting in on his side.

“This steward let in other individuals afterwards, dignitaries or whatever you may call them, but for some reason Tony Kelly, possibly Clare’s greatest hurler, wasn’t permitted to sit down or gain access via this part of the stand at Cusack Park.

“Tony Kelly didn’t make much of it. It was never a case of ‘do you know who I am?’. He tried to explain he was a player but it was embarrassing.”

As confirmed by Derrick Lynch of Clare FM, Kelly eventually gained access to the stand to watch the game.

Though Lynch urged Clare GAA to issue an apology to Kelly for the earlier scenes.

Listen to the story from 8m30s on the podcast.

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