Hartigan rejects full-time Limerick secretary position

LONG serving Limerick GAA secretary James Hartigan has declined the position on a full-time basis.

Hartigan, who has served in the role for over two decades, was offered the post two months ago, after he, and others, had been interviewed. However he told this week’s county board meeting that he was not accepting the position, for personal reasons.

In theory, Limerick are now without a secretary. The position was left open, at last December’s convention, until the post of full-time secretary was advertised and filled. It was agreed at the time that he would continue on an interim basis.

Now, Limerick is to contact Croke Park for guidance.

Meanwhile, Conor Fitzgerald, winner of two All-Ireland U-21 hurling medals with Limerick, and a member of the panel which lost the U-21 football All-Ireland final to Tyrone in 2000, has opted out of the senior hurling panel, for business reasons. He had been an ever present with the seniors over the last five seasons.

Limerick, who play Tipperary in the Munster SHC later this month, will not be involved against Laois in the NHL relegation play off this weekend.

Meanwhile, champions Antrim begin their Ulster SHC defence against London on Sunday. Ryan McGarry makes his championship debut in goal for the Saffron’s, while it will be Michael McCambridge’s first championship game in over a year as he missed out last season through injury. Captain Sean Delargy returns to the championship line up for the first time in three seasons.

Neal McAuley is also a championship debutante at wing back as is Paul Sheils at corner forward. Niall McManus, Shane McNaughton and Kevin Elliot were all unavailable due to injuries.

With centre-forward David Barden cleared to play, Longford will be at full strength for their opening game in the Leinster SFC against Westmeath at Pearse Park, Longford on Sunday. Westmeath are awaiting a fitness report on their star forward Dessie Dolan before announcing their team tonight.

Meanwhile, Sligo manager Tom Brehoney will not name his side to play New York in the first round of the Connacht SFC at Gaelic Park on Sunday until the Westerners reach the ‘Big Apple’ tomorrow.

Brehoney will be without midfielder Tony Taylor, who has been ruled out with a leg injury.

Down introduce four championship debutantes including full-back and team captain Declan Rooney for their Ulster SFC first round clash with Cavan at Breffni Park on Sunday.

The other newcomers are left full back Kevin McGuigan, midfielder Jackie Lynch and full forward Packie Downey, while team manager Ross Carr’s son, Aidan, is named on the forty.

This opener will mark the 14th season of championship footballer for goalkeeper Mickey McVeigh.

Corner back Paul Brady, who won his second World Handball Championship in Minnesotta last weekend is included in the Cavan team. Midfielder Lorcan Mulvey returns after suspension, while Ray Cullivan makes his championship start at right half forward.

LONGFORD (SFC v Westmeath): D. Sheridan (Capt); D. Brady, D. Masterson, D. G. Reilly; S. Mulligan, D. Hannify, N. Farrell; B. McElvaney, L. Keenan; T. Smullen , D. Barden, P. Berry; K. Mulligan, P. Dowd, B. Kavanagh.

DOWN (SFC v Cavan): M. McVeigh; D. McCartan, D. Rooney, K. McGuigan; R. Murtagh, B. Grant, J. Clarke; D. Gordan, J. Lynch; J. McGovern, A. Carr, R. Sexton; D. Hughes, P. Downey, D. Coulter.

CAVAN (SFC v Down): J. Reilly; P. Brady, E. Reilly, M. Cahill; M. Hannon, A. Forde, R. Flanagan; D.McCabe, L. Mulvey; R. Cullivan, M. McKeever, E. Reilly; S. Johnston, G.. Pierson, Jason Reilly.

ANTRIM (SHC v London): R McGarry; M. Kettle, M. McCambridge, S. Delargy; N. McAuley, J. Campbell, C. Herron; B. Herron, K. McKeegan; K. Stewart, B. Delargy, M. Herron; J. McIntosh, K. Kelly, P. Shields.

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