Bespectacled Longford coach insists he tried to defuse melee

The man highlighted on The Sunday Game throwing his glasses off before entering a melee during Longford’s qualifier loss to Wexford has defended his actions.

Bespectacled Longford coach insists he tried to defuse melee

Longford’s strength and conditioning coach David Hare was shown hurling his glasses towards a team doctor and turning to enter a brawl.

The Dublin native, who was not identified on the programme, has claimed he was separating two players and threw away his glasses to protect his eyes. He denied engaging with any of the Wexford players.

Hare, labelled by RTÉ pundit Eamonn O’Hara as a “14-year-old girl at a Rihanna concert fighting for a good position,” said he had nothing to be ashamed about.

“I don’t think there is an issue here. I don’t see why I should be ashamed when I pulled one player off another. I don’t think there is anything untoward. It is not a big issue, it’s a non entity really.

Another RTÉ pundit, Kevin McStay, said Hare should be embarrassed by his actions: “It’s looks terrible when you see grown men down pushing and shoving when they should be preparing their team for extra-time.”

Hare responded: “I wouldn’t be drawn into a war of words with whatever that fella’s name was. I don’t know what The Sunday Game panellists were going on about. I threw away my glasses for safety reasons. I don’t know what the big issue is, it’s more a comical thing than anything else.

“If I was in there throwing head-butts, fair enough, I’d be looking at myself in the mirror, but that wasn’t the case.”

Wexford County Board chairman Diarmuid Devereux was annoyed his county were shown in a negative light on the programme again, following the publicity given towards their hurlers’ game with Dublin, but particularly when the individual highlighted was not a member of their backroom team. He has called on RTÉ to clarify the matter.

“These things should be verified before they are transmitted,” he said.

“If somebody had rang me or the manager we could have confirmed that the individual was a Wexford official or otherwise, but they didn’t.”

RTÉ’s Fergus McCormack said there was no need to identify Hare, thus distancing criticism from Wexford.

“It was the bib that marks him out as a being a non-player and the panellists were making a general point from what the president had said about looking to ban people being on the pitch who are not players. It didn’t matter where he was from.”

Meanwhile, former Wexford hurler Diarmuid Lyng branded the treatment of Tomás Waters in Saturday’s qualifier defeat to Clare as “scandalous”. The full-back suffered a torn cruciate after 60 minutes but referee Diarmuid Kirwan continued with the play and Clare tallied two points before Waters was eventually helped to the sideline.

“Treatment of Tomas Waters yesterday was scandalous. Torn cruciate and Wex forced to take 2 puckouts while down,” he tweeted.

Waters was also refused water in the first half, despite Wexford official Dermot Howlin confirming that Kirwan had indicated prior to the game that water carriers would be allowed on due to the heat.

“To see somebody not being allowed water was quite surprising. Any player in that heat should have access to water,” he said.

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