Clare U21 captain Cleary was on duty for Kilmaley in the county senior championship when he suffered the injury and, according to manager PJ Kennedy, had to be lifted off the pitch like ‘an auld dog’.
Kennedy was adamant there was ‘no stretcher’ available and described it as an ‘unsavoury’ incident though Clare GAA officials subsequently denied this was the case.
A county board statement maintained that ‘contrary to reports a stretcher was available’ but that ‘it was deemed unnecessary for use in this particular case’.
But speaking to Clare FM, Kilmaley physiotherapist Keir McNamara nsisted there definitely wasn’t a stretcher available and that they had no option but to lift Cleary by hand.
“I was there on Saturday evening,” said McNamara. “(I’m) just hearing some of the comments that have come out over the week and just to clarify one or two issues
“I’ve heard reports coming out that there was a stretcher available and that it was being made available to the team on the day.
“But from being there on the scene in the first instance nobody approached us with a stretcher or said that there was one coming.
“We certainly would have waited if we thought one was on the way as has happened in a number of other instances over the years. I’m 21 years at this now. Nor did one appear in the aftermath when we did get him to the side line.”
Meanwhile coach Eamonn Ryan has made one change to his starting 15 from the side which defeated Galway for Saturday’s All-Ireland Ladies SFC semi-final against Kerry.
Mourneabbey’s Doireann O’Sullivan returns from a hand injury to replace Naomh Fionnbarra’s Rhona Ní Bhuachalla at corner-forward for the the 6pm throw-in at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
O’Sullivan came on as a substitute in Cork’s two-point win over Galway in the quarter-final a fortnight ago, scoring a point, and setting up a number of other scores.
Kerry boss Alan O’Neill, however, has made no changes to the side that defeated Mayo in their respective quarter-final.
Saturday’s clash is a repeat of the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final, and will see the reigning champions Cork up against the Munster champions, who defeated the Rebels in the provincial decider by nine points in July.
It was also confirmed last night that Irish rugby sevens star Louise Galvin has returned to the Kerry squad following Ireland’s success last weekend in qualifying for the 2016 World Series
Meanwhile, Kildare referee Ray Kelly will take charge of the senior All-Ireland camogie final between Cork and Galway on September 13, with Jenny Byrne of Dublin overseeing the intermediate final between Waterford and Kildare, and Gráinne Coulter of Down the junior clash between Laois and Roscommon.
M O’Brien; M Ambrose, B Stack, A Barrett; V Foley, D O’Reilly, G O’Flynn; R Buckley, B Corkery; C O’Sullivan, A Hutchings, A Walsh; V Mulcahy, Á O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan.
E Murphy; G Crowley, A Desmond, A Leonard; C Kelly, C Lynch, M Quirke; B Breen, L Scanlon; E Sherwood, S Houlihan, D Hallissey; P Dennehy, M O’Connell, L Ní Mhuirceartaigh.