Joe Quaid has claimed that Limerick star Cian Lynch left the Semple Stadium pitch “visibly upset” after he was verbally abused by a spectator following last Sunday’s Munster SHC semi-final defeat against Tipperary, writes Jackie Cahill.
Kildare manager Quaid, a former Limerick senior goalkeeper, witnessed the incident while mingling with supporters on the field after the game.
Quaid says that Lynch (20) was talking to his uncle Sean Carey when a supporter began shouting abuse.
Quaid, a second cousin of current Limerick goalkeeper and team captain Nickie, admits that he was “very tempted” to get involved but that Carey defended his nephew.
“I was very tempted but to be fair, Seanie Carey, his uncle, stood up for him,” Quaid revealed.
“I’d be hoping he (Lynch) wouldn’t take it to heart.
“I got plenty of abuse over the years, you have to park it.
“If we scored a goal and snuck it by a point, they’d have been out patting him on the back. That’s the nature of sport.”
Quaid added: “I don’t know what he said to him (Lynch). Cian was over talking to Seanie Carey and he (spectator) was giving him abuse, which is a disgrace.
“He (Lynch) just walked away and went into the dressing room. He walked away visibly upset.
“Guys like him, you have to allow him the freedom to play. He’s a natural talent but I don’t think we’re getting the best out of him. You see him running through the middle and he was taking on the Tipp defence through the centre, the place where they seemed most vulnerable, and no-one going with him.
“He ended up running into dead ends and then people were giving out that he didn’t hit the ball.”
Limerick senior hurling team and panel who were defeated by two points 1-16 to 3-12 in the Munster SHC today pic.twitter.com/Dr4uukiJn0— Limerick GAA (@LimerickCLG) June 19, 2016
Quaid conceded that Limerick looked “rudderless” on Sunday and he wants to see a return to some “core values” as the Shannonsiders prepare for the qualifiers.
“We need to get back to our core values of hard work and commitment to the cause,” Quaid insisted.
“There’s too much prestige associated with hurling for Limerick. While we want players to be looked after well, it’s something I think that might be a bit of a sideshow.
“We need to get back to the basics and pride in the jersey.
“We looked a bit rudderless. There was no ‘in your face’ aggression, what Limerick would normally bring to the table. Our first touch was scandalous, very bad.
“I know conditions were poor but Tipp’s first touch was way ahead of us.
“I think they (Limerick) have to keep faith with the youngsters coming through,” Quaid added.
“Realistically, are we going to win an All-Ireland this year? No. It’s about a rebuilding process now with the good lads coming through but the hurlers are in Limerick.”
When asked why the senior hurlers are not delivering, Quaid replied: “That’s the million dollar question. I don’t think we have the answer at the moment but we need to sit down and find out why.
“We have one of the best underage structures in the country and won the All-Ireland U21 title last year. To go out and put in a performance like that was poor.
“Whether it’s management, training or the attitude to the whole thing, I don’t know but something needs to be done.”
Before the game, Quaid expressed concern about the prospect of rookie full-back Dan Morrissey facing up to Seamus Callanan.
And he said: “It didn’t work out but I don’t think that’s all down to Dan.
“To be asked to go in and make your full debut in Munster championship against the best full-forward in the country is a huge ask.”
And Quaid has warned that Limerick’s qualifier assignment against Westmeath is no foregone conclusion.
“I wouldn’t write off Westmeath – look at what they’re doing underage.
“I saw them in Division 2A of the League and if Limerick go up there and play the way they did last Sunday, Westmeath will beat them.
“It took Limerick probably three-quarters of the game last year to get ahead of Westmeath and I wouldn’t be going there too full of confidence.”