Limerick officials in crisis talks

Limerick officials in crisis talks
Limerick secretary Mike O’Riordan

By Jackie Cahill

Crisis talks involving Limerick GAA’s top officials failed to find a resolution last night following Treasurer Donal Morrissey’s quit threat.

Morrissey, father of county senior hurling panellists Dan and Tom, was on the verge of resigning his position ahead of a board executive meeting at Munster GAA headquarters in Castletroy but shortly before 10pm, the gathering was adjourned without a significant breakthrough.

It is understood that discussions may take place again later today following revelations that Morrissey intended to step down if the proposed appointment of secretary Mike O’Riordan was rubber-stamped.

Morrissey was left disillusioned by the procedures surrounding proposed moves to push through a fresh term for O’Riordan, the Limerick board’s full-time secretary.

Under GAA rules, top table officers must vacate a role after five-year terms but paid officials can serve seven-year stints.

O’Riordan was appointed to the position in 2009 and while his tenure expires at the end of April, county board chairman Oliver Mann was set to table a proposal to have it extended.

Morrissey indicated to Mann that if this did happen, he would be resigning, insisting privately that the role should be advertised publicly so that other prospective candidates could apply.

Behind closed doors last night, Shannonside top brass struggled for common ground and well-placed sources have confirmed that this could be a lengthy process.

Morrissey is a highly regarded figure in Limerick GAA circles, a chartered accountant by profession who has been working hard with Commercial Manager John Loftus to transform county board finances in recent years.

Limerick GAA has been beset by a number of controversies through the years, including the infamous reign of former senior hurling team boss Justin McCarthy.

In 2010, Limerick fielded what was essentially a scratch team after McCarthy dropped a number of high-profile players following the 2009 campaign, with others deciding to opt out in protest.

As far back as 1996, after Limerick lost a second All-Ireland final in three seasons back, then manager Tom Ryan was taken aback when a list of 20 questions were submitted to him by board officials.

Despite winning the National Hurling League title in 1997, Ryan was sacked and as recently as 2013, he was snubbed for the intermediate hurling team manager’s role.

In 2014, the senior team’s joint-manager Donal O’Grady, Cork’s All-Ireland winning boss in 2004, quit following disagreements with the county board.

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