A highly anticipated Cork County Board meeting last night allowed delegates to air grievances, but the only real development was the announcement of the composition of the committee to find the new county football manager.
Three All-Ireland winners – John Coleman, John O’Driscoll and Nicholas Murphy – will join county chairman Ger Lane and secretary Frank Murphy on the committee to find a replacement for Brian Cuthbert after he opted not to seek re-appointment following the All-Ireland qualifier loss to Kildare last month.
In the wake of Cuthbert’s departure, the county board issued a statement expressing gratitude to the Bishopstown man, parts of which, pertaining to the refereeing of Pádraig Hughes in the drawn Munster SFC final, had drawn criticism from many quarters. Lane sought to clarify the board hadn’t wished to castigate Hughes.
“The board issued a statement to thank Brian for his tenure as manager,” he said.“Some parts of that were interpreted as criticism of the referee, that was never the intention.” Delegates made their displeasure clear, however. “I know you made an apology but, at the time, that statement was an embarrassment to Cork GAA, you wouldn’t see it in Father Ted,” said Shamrocks delegate Patrick Andrews.
“I couldn’t believe the middle paragraph. Tipperary made a statement thanking Eamonn O’Shea and it was classy, there was nothing like in our one.” Frank McCarthy of Ballincollig echoed those comments.
“All of you on the executive must realise it was an appalling blunder, there was no other way of describing it,” he said. “It was eight days later, it wasn’t compiled overnight, no reporter put a microphone in front of anybody unexpectedly.
“You have embarrassed the county, you let us down deplorably, and no apology this late will excuse what you did.” In the wake of the senior hurling loss to Galway a day after the Kildare game, games administration in Cork came in for sharp words from former goalkeeper Dónal Óg Cuscak on The Sunday Game, who had referred to county board members as “yes-men” and “stooges”.
“I was at both games, we were beaten fair and square,” said Lyre delegate Patrick Muphy. “I had a problem with the Sunday Game, an analyst paid by the taxpayer, calling the likes of ourselves names. I have never been a yes-man and, if people like them or not, that’s it. “Everyone who comes here does so for the good of Cork GAA, they get into their cars and make the effort.” Former chairman Bob Ryan paid tribute to Cuthbert, describing him “”a tremendous man to deal with, a man of the highest calibre” and said unity behind his replacement was imperative.
Coleman of Millstreet, who won an All-Ireland in 1973, Ballingeary’s O’Driscoll, who was on the 1989 and ’90 squads, and Murphy (Carrigaline), who won in 2010, will join Lane and Murphy in finding that replacement.
New minor hurling and football managers were delayed, but Paul McCarthy (Kinsle) was re-appointed junior football boss. Stephen Calnan (Nemo) will be coach, Alan Whelan (Brian Dillons), John Geaney (Kilshanning) and Pat Mackey (Youghal) will be selectors.
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