Cork selector Pat Mulcahy: 'Unhelpful' Cork pundits have an agenda

Outgoing Cork hurling selector Pat Mulcahy has described the 'negative reaction' from Cork pundits as 'unhelpful and having an agenda'
Cork selector Pat Mulcahy: 'Unhelpful' Cork pundits have an agenda

OUTGOING: Outgoing Cork SH Selectors L-R Kieran Kingston, Diarmuid O Sullivan, Noel Furlong, and Pat Mulcahy. Pic George Hatchell

Outgoing Cork hurling selector Pat Mulcahy has described the “negative reaction” from Cork pundits as “unhelpful and having an agenda”.

Mulcahy told the Echo: “To be honest, you’d understand the national media stuff as they’re a bit removed from Cork - it’s more soundbites than anything personal.

“But what did hurt was the negative reaction from former Cork players, in particular those who have platforms on podcasts and social media. Some of that stuff came across as unhelpful and as having an agenda behind it.

“I couldn’t get my head around why people that understand the challenges - and privilege - of playing for Cork would forget so easily and have a go.

“Social media and podcasts are part of society nowadays and I enjoy listening to some of them in the off-season.

“For example, the Kilkenny lads - Paul Murphy and Eddie Brennan, for example - seem to provide real good critical analysis without getting personal. 

"I heard Jamesie O’Connor on Newstalk previewing the Clare match against Wexford, but you can see while he calls it out, he does so in a fair manner. You can feel the Clare passion coming out of him. You have to respect that.

“When Eamonn Fitzmaurice is commenting on Kerry in his (Irish Examiner) column, he does so with such balance and fairness, a class act.

“But in Cork recently, there seems to be a willingness to have a cut off our own without any sort of detailed analysis.” 

Mulcahy gave the example of last year’s All-Star awards.

“I wasn’t involved last year so the point isn’t in any way biased, but the All-Stars last year, when Cork didn’t get any, the first All-Ireland finalists in 50 years.

“All-Stars are very subjective by their nature, but it was still a big statement to make by the judges. The argument could be made either way, but you’d former Cork players coming out saying Cork didn’t deserve any, Limerick deserved all 15.

“Why would you do that, why criticise when our lads are down?

“These former players have played for Cork. They’ve walked in their shoes. Why? I cannot get my head around it, it’s like criticising your own family.

“I remember back in 2004, Donal O’Grady said that, during the War of Independence, more British Army personnel were stationed in Cork because we were the most rebellious county, hence the name. We’re like that in Cork, we rebel but we’re united and strong. Why have a cut off each other?

“We used to have that unity amongst our own. We have great sports people, like my idol Roy Keane, Donal Lenihan, Sonia and so on. They all have a special feel for Cork and have huge media platforms but never have a cheap shot at their own.” 

Mulcahy accepted criticism is part of the job of management.

“Yes, 100 per cent, and the standards must be there and called out if they’re not.

“Every detail has a right to be challenged, but we had a former Cork player this year talking about how he got off a plane and was going through the match updates on social media and then proceeded to analyse the game on a podcast. How disrespectful is that?

“Another analyst accused management of ‘shunning players’. One particular player was out injured for a substantial period of time.

“Now surely that needed context and if he didn’t know, why would he phrase it in that manner, for effect at the expense of fairness and balanced criticism? 

"I can honestly, hand on heart, say that all of the lads, while very disappointed when they weren’t picked, showed incredible respect for the team and their behaviour in response to disappointment was admirable.”

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