Laois chairman Tom Clear has lashed out at the decision to discontinue the Joe McDonagh Cup Champion 15 this year.
In a statement on Monday, the GAA explained McDonagh Cup players had been considered in the Liam MacCarthy Cup All-Stars. Laois’s Enda Rowland and Jack Kelly were named as All-Star nominees. In a joint decision, the the GAA and the GPA made the call to amalgamate the MacCarthy and McDonagh awards.
However, the All-Stars hurling selection committee were not informed there would be no McDonagh Champion 15 this year and were picking players from teams who played in the MacCarthy Cup, as Laois and Westmeath did.
Speaking to Laois Today, Clear condemned the call: “This is an absolute disgrace.
The Laois hurlers gave us some brilliant days this year and while we are delighted Enda (Rowland) and Jack (Kelly) got nominated for All Stars, and Paddy Purcell for Joe McDonagh Player of the Year — to have these awards just dropped without any notice is not fair on the rest of the players.
“This is the second-tier competition of hurling, yet it has been kicked aside while the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher players, who play in Tier 3, 4, and 5, are getting more recognition. It is even worse for the rest of the counties. Players from Westmeath, Kerry, Antrim, and Offaly, who all played their roles in this championship, will not get any recognition at all.
“Special Congress voted for Tier 2 football at the weekend and I wonder now is this the type of disrespect that faces those counties too?”
The All Stars hurling team will be revealed on Friday week at an awards gala in Dublin. The football team will be revealed tomorrow week.