The Rebels icon was playing his cards close to his chest at Croke Park where, alongside Dublin football great Jimmy Keaveney, he was inducted into the GAA museum’s Hall of Fame.
The award was partly in recognition of an incredible playing career that saw him collect six All-Ireland senior medals, five in hurling, and a number of Cork officials were on hand yesterday to offer their congratulations. The Barr’s clubman has also enjoyed a high profile managerial career, guiding Cork to the 1999 All-Ireland title and he returned in late 2011 for a second stint climaxed with a MacCarthy Cup final appearance.
This year’s Championship campaign ended in disappointing fashion as Cork relinquished the Munster title before losing to Galway in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.Speaking after that Galway defeat, Barry-Murphy insisted, ‘I can’t wait for next year’ though there has been speculation about his position since. Former colleague Tomas Mulcahy felt compelled to distance himself from the role in the Irish Examiner last week and stated Barry-Murphy should stay on, though with the crucial addendum a back room team shake up may be necessary.
“I’m not going to think about that now, I’m going to enjoy myself here today,” said Barry-Murphy when asked about his position. Pressed on the time frame he is working to in terms of confirming his plans to the county board, he shrugged.
“I haven’t even thought about it since. The club championships are on and I honestly haven’t thought about it since the match in Thurles. As far as I’m concerned, I’m still manager, as of now anyway.”
The seven-time All-Star was, however, definitive on the dual player issue, stating it’s “not going to be a factor ever again”. He revealed he and Brian Cuthbert reluctantly accommodated Cork’s dual players.
“I was just being selfish, trying to use it because we were trying to get Aidan Walsh and Damien Cahalane in,” said Barry-Murphy. “Myself and Brian Cuthbert had a chat. Brian wasn’t entirely happy either. He’d rather they were playing football only.
“Neither of us were prepared to put the guns to players’ heads. The players themselves realised in the course of the year, and I did too, it wasn’t fair to them.
“I would say a decision has to be made now, pretty much after minor definitely. It’s very hard at U21 level. They’re all pulled and dragged. Fitzgibbon Cup kicks in, Sigerson Cup kicks in. It’s very difficult and it’s just not going to be a factor ever again.”