Limerick chief rejects Foley’s claims

LIMERICK secretary Mike O’Riordan has slammed claims made yesterday by former senior hurling captain Mark Foley as the war of words between Justin McCarthy’s management team and last year’s squad continues.

Foley said that the County Board were placing huge pressure on hurlers to return to the fold insisting that an unemployed player was offered: “the carrot of a job on the provision he came back to Justin. He rang a selector a week later to tell him he wasn’t going back and was told they had got a job for him but he wouldn’t be getting it.”

However O’Riordan challenged those assertions. “I would be talking to a lot of people in business and education from doing a lot of the donkey-work in relation to getting fellas into employment or into courses. I’m doing that constantly, but I didn’t speak to any player to tell him that a job was no longer there for him.”

Foley also charged that many clubs are being influenced in their decisions by the promise of tickets and grants.

Foley said: “They (The Board) say they act in the best interests of Limerick hurling when they clearly don’t. Respect for the Limerick hurler is minimal in the higher positions of the county board. There are just too many delegates bought by the executive and that’s the reflection on the street in Limerick. They get their tickets and grants and they don’t want to upset that.”

Again O’Riordan disputed those comments.

“The grants come directly from the Munster Council, and as for tickets, every club is entitled to a set allocation, and that allocation doesn’t change from one year to the next. It has absolutely nothing to do with how club delegates vote at the different meetings. Senior clubs, intermediate, junior, they all get a set allocation and that doesn’t change from year to year.”

Finally, and on this both Mark Foley and Mike O’Riordan agreed, claims that main sponsor JP McManus would withdraw if Justin McCarthy was fired, is false: “I can categorically state that he has never tried to influence Limerick county board in any way whatsoever during my tenure as secretary. He has never gotten involved high up or low down in any decision of the board. He has been an outstanding sponsor for Limerick GAA, and we’re very, very grateful.”

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