Clare senior hurlers and team management have released a joint statement claiming that “numerous inaccuracies” were reported about the recent departures of Davy O’Halloran and Nicky O’Connell from the squad.
Management and players met before training in Sixmilebridge yesterday and a statement arrived 24 hours later, confirming support for manager Davy Fitzgerald and his backroom team.
The statement, issued by Clare’s joint-captain Cian Dillon and distributed via county board PRO Sean O’Halloran, insisted that the group remains very much “united” and will “continue to enjoy working hard for Clare hurling.”
Furthermore, the statement insists that the remaining members of the Clare panel “are happy that the matter was dealt with fairly” and that the controversy is “now closed”.
The statement reads as follows: “The Clare senior hurling panel and management have met on the recent disciplinary issues that have been aired in the public domain.
“All involved are happy that the matter was dealt with fairly.
“While there are numerous inaccuracies reported in the media, on social media and in a former player’s (O’Halloran) statement, the matter is now closed and we, as a group, are all happy to move forward, united and to continue to enjoy working hard for Clare hurling.”
The statement was signed by joint-captains Dillon and Patrick Donnellan, on behalf of the players, and Fitzgerald, selectors Louis Mulqueen and Michael Browne on behalf of team management.
It came to light last week that O’Halloran and O’Connell left the Clare squad after refusing to accept punishment handed down for an alleged breach of discipline.
O’Halloran was man-of-the-match in the 2013 All-Ireland U21 final and O’Connell had been a member of the senior squad since 2010.
Clare claimed their first victory of the Allianz League campaign last Saturday, against Dublin, on the weekend when the furore surrounding O’Halloran and O’Connell blew up.
They face Kilkenny at Nowlan Park next Sunday needing a victory to keep alive hopes of staving off a relegation play-off.