Éamonn Fitzmaurice: ‘I have a lot of failings. But one thing I will not do is lie’

Truth, lies and the occasional fudge. There’s been plenty of accusation, half truths, and what Éamonn Fitzmaurice described as “shooting in the dark” over the Brendan O’Sullivan doping violation.

The Kerry manager was in camp with his squad at Johnstown House in Enfield, Co Meath, last week and didn’t pore over the reams of coverage. One claim, however, in a local paper in Kerry, was brought to his attention — the suggestion that he was less than honest with the reason for O’Sullivan’s absence from the panel last spring.

“It was suggested I more or less lied around this time last year about him not being available because, I said he was injured. Brendan was injured. (Now) that was convenient to me, I went back to check my notes, he had a hip injury, a minor groin tear, a minor quad tear. So he actually hadn’t resumed training with us.

“A lot of ye are dealing with me a long time and I have a lot of failings. But the one thing I will not do is lie. And I have never lied to the press at any stage about anything. I’d fudge a question or might not want to answer something, but I’ll never lie.

“When I was asked about him later on (in the season), (Brendan) was almost recovered injury-wise, and I fudged (the answer). I said ‘Denis Daly, who had a health issue at the time, and Brendan O’Sullivan, aren’t available but I don’t want to chat about that. They won’t be available in the short to medium term’.

“I said something like that — I didn’t say he was injured at that time, he’d actually recovered, I want that to go on record today.

“(The article suggested) that reporters left the room last spring with the impressions that he was injured. He was injured. I want to clarify that. I am sure if I read all the stuff over the last week I’d have a lot of bones to pick today, but I didn’t have time.”

He added: “I just want to get it all out there, what the proper story is, and then I’ll finish with it after this.”

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