We won’t pay injury price again, vows Dunne

Liam Dunne has vowed Wexford will never suffer again if one of their players is seriously injured in a big game.

We won’t pay injury price again, vows Dunne

Manager Dunne was fuming when referee Diarmuid Kirwan allowed play to continue after full-back Tomás Waters crumpled with cruciate knee ligament damage against Clare in last July’s All-Ireland SHC qualifier.

Clare picked off two points as Waters received treatment before leaving the field and Dunne said: “To be fair as well, I sort of blame Mark Fanning a little bit, a young goalkeeper in his first year.

“If that had been Damien Fitzhenry, he wouldn’t have been pucking the ball out with his anchorman down — he would have said to the referee ‘up yours, I’m not hitting that ball out until either he’s gone off the field or I’ve someone in front of me’.

“It’ll never happen again either. It cost us maybe, I’m not saying we would have won the game, but it won’t happen again.”

Dunne was reacting to GAA CEO Páraic Duffy’s call for the Association to get tough on managers who criticise referees.

But the Waters episode was one of three incidents Dunne highlighted where he felt that Wexford were on the receiving end from officials.

He referenced a penalty scored by Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash against Wexford during the 2012 championship, recalling: “I asked Johnny Ryan doing the line one day in Wexford Park why he gave it, he said he’d come back to me but I never heard from him.

“I watched it several times and I don’t know how or why he gave it.

“All the talk after the drawn Dublin game in Wexford Park (last summer), nobody mentioned Mark Schutte dropping his hurl and handpassing it to a team-mate to score a goal, and we had them with their tongues hanging at that stage.”

Dunne has also called for the expulsion of third-level colleges from the Walsh Cup.

He voiced his views after Kilkenny crushed DIT by 5-23 to 1-9 in the quarter-finals and Wexford hammered NUI Galway by 4-22 to 0-8.

Dunne, present at yesterday’s Wexford GAA announcement of a three-year sponsorship deal with Gain Feeds, insisted: “I think the Leinster Council should throw them out of it, they shouldn’t be in it.”

Meanwhile, defiant Wexford county board chairman Diarmuid Devereux insists that he does not fear Dublin as a financial force or on the field of play.

Wexford announced their own tie-up with Glanbia Agribusiness and Gain Feeds yesterday but their annual six-figure deal, over the course of three years, falls far behind Dublin’s bank-busting €5m partnership with AIG.

Wexford’s new partnership will provide a badly-needed cash injection to a county that has suffered huge financial turmoil in recent years. But Devereux stated: “I don’t believe Dublin have any advantage over us. For decades, we held our own and better with Dublin. It’s only in the last few years that they’ve risen in hurling in particular. We’re not afraid of that.”

Devereux has revealed the high cost of keeping Wexford GAA running on a daily basis.

He explained: “Our overall target for sponsorship in the county, with all our combined sponsors, we’re looking at somewhere in the region of €300,000. The deal that we very kindly received today from Glanbia would move us a long way down the road towards that.

“This year, Wexford GAA will spend €2m in the local economy and the clubs will spend a further €2m. That €4m has to be generated before it can be spent.”

He added: “It’s a terrible task for volunteers — a huge task because you’re doing it outside of your normal business.

“If you think about €2m, that’s roughly €8,000 per day that I have to find before we open Wexford Park. It’s a frightening sum of money.”

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