Galway chiefs battle to solve Anthony Cunningham impasse

Galway officials were locked in conclave last night in a bid to resolve the impasse between hurling manager Anthony Cunningham and leading members of his team.

Galway top-brass met with Cunningham on Sunday night to discuss the ‘no confidence’ vote taken against him and it has emerged that the Galway manager will not resign at the behest of the players and is determined to retain his position for a fifth year.

A cohort of players from two leading senior clubs are believed to be at the centre of the attempted heave, with one experienced panel member heavily critical of the manager on social media in the days after the All-Ireland final defeat to Kilkenny. His comment has since been deleted.

There is also growing anger at the manner in which county board officials pushed through Cunningham’s re- appointment last week.

Having completed the one-year extension to his initial three-year term, it was expected that nominations would be sought for the position of manager, as had been the case at the end of 2014.

No tendering process took place and at a review meeting of the Galway hurling board in the Maldron Hotel, Oranmore, on Sunday week last, the top table sought to put forward Cunningham’s name for ratification at the following evening’s county board meeting.

This was blocked by delegates who questioned why Cunningham had not been present to deliver his end-of-season report; All-Ireland minor-winning manager Jeffrey Lynskey had attended and briefed the meeting.

An email was circulated to club delegates early the following morning with notice of a snap hurling board meeting called for that evening in the Maldron Hotel.

Cunningham was present on this occasion and it is alleged that he did not accept responsibility for certain failings inside the whitewash during the year.

At the end of the hour-long meeting, he was proposed and seconded for ratification at the full county board meeting taking place down the road in Loughgeorge. Here he was given the green light to continue for a fifth year.

Former All-Ireland-winning Galway manager Cyril Farrell described the mutiny as “sad”.

“It seems to be led by the older players. A lot of younger guys were playing in their first All-Ireland [this year], they wouldn’t be involved in this. OK, they want to win as well, but the older guys are the leaders of the pack.

“I suppose they think they’re doing it for the right reasons but you’d have to question them,” he told RTÉ sport.


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