Tipp ladies football controversy closed, say board

Tipperary Ladies Gaelic Football board officials have insisted the controversy that has seen five players dropped and 14 more absent themselves from the county’s intermediate squad is "closed."

Tipp ladies football controversy closed, say board

The ongoing impasse was discussed at a board meeting on Tuesday and top brass claim it was “agreed unanimously to consider the matter now closed.”

An official statement released yesterday added “focus is on the upcoming Munster championship next month,” as a scratch squad prepares to face Limerick.

It emerged in April that manager John Leahy, the former All-Ireland senior hurling medallist and All Star, had dropped five players from his squad, namely 2013 All Star nominee Máiread Morrissey, vice-captain Jennifer Grant, Samantha Lambert, Kelly Hackett and Patricia Hickey.

Over two months since the revelations first came to light, county board officials have finally broken their silence to claim that Morrissey, Grant and Lambert were “asked to take a period of rest from training… due to their heavy schedule of games-related activities during the league.”

The statement also claims the players were “at no time dropped from the panel.”

Premier County chiefs also stated they and team management “have remained available to meet any players at any time to discuss concerns they might have and the door remains open should players wish to engage in private dialogue”.

Board officials also insist they have been misrepresented in the media and national newspaper articles have been of a “one-sided nature.”

The statement adds: “Requests by the Tipperary Ladies Football Board to all parties to deal with such matters through private dialogue and mediation have not been accepted. It is the prerogative of any management team to make changes to their panel during the course of any competition.

“In April, the Tipperary Intermediate Ladies Football Management Committee informed two players that they were no longer part of the panel [not five as widely reported]. On April 18, Tipperary Ladies Football Executive members held a meeting with players and management at which Máiread Morrissey, Jennifer Grant and Samantha Lambert were invited to a follow-on meeting to discuss their issues. They did not attend this meeting.”

Ladies Gaelic Football Association President-elect Marie Hickey and Galway’s Con Moynihan were recently appointed as independent mediators, with a series of meetings taking place last week. Tipperary board chairman Tommie Campbell has since communicated to the mediators that he is demanding an apology from the axed players.

This is despite the fact board members now claim “representatives of the players no longer part of the current set-up indicated they were not waiting for the final meeting and left.”

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