Jeff Lynskey says ‘exclusion’ disrespectful to Galway hurlers

Galway minor hurling manager Jeff Lynskey has slammed the “exclusion” of the county’s hurlers and said the decision to put the county’s U17 hurlers straight into an All-Ireland semi-final this year shows “a total lack of respect” to Galway.

Lynskey fully expects the county board’s motion allowing them to enter their minor and U21 teams into the respective Leinster championships will be defeated if it is discussed at Congress today.

However, he hopes the alternative suggestion of a group comprising Galway, Antrim and the preliminary losers in Leinster and Munster will in time be supported.

“You put something forward and hope people will use logic and sense but sometimes with Congress that obviously goes out the window,” he said. 

“We’ll carry on what we’re doing at present and the next step for us is to put a proposal together regarding ourselves and Antrim in a group with the losers in Munster and Leinster. That would seem the best course of action if the motion goes to a vote is discussed.

“The feedback we’ve been getting is that the motion is going to be overwhelmingly knocked back and we kinda knew that but ourselves and Antrim it’s important that we do put pressure on Croke Park, the management committee and Páraic Duffy and these lads and say, ‘Look, we need a bit of courage and a bit of leadership and we need help’.

“We’re not looking for home games but games and a bit of fairness and equality and at present what’s happened for an awful long time we have been excluded. 

“It’s a strong word but it’s exclusion and the GAA’s mission statement is about creating a culture of games and being all-inclusive but ourselves and Antrim are the cases-in-point that that’s not the case.

“The working relationship with Leinster isn’t positive and that’s just me looking from the outside in and that needs to change. 

“That’s up to our administrators and their administrators to sit around the table with somebody like Páraic Duffy or the next president and come up with some sort of workable solution.”

Lynskey doesn’t foresee anything happening for Galway next year and was angered by the decision to place Galway into the semi-finals of this year’s one-off U17 All-Ireland hurling championship, which has been established to avoid teenagers missing out on minor when it changes to U17 in 2018.

“Paudie O’Neill and the hurling development committee and the coaching and games department in Croke Park have done great work regarding the Celtic Challenge and the U17 competition.

“I understand the minor going down to 17 because of the amount of games lads are playing between adult, under-age and schools. 

“But that doesn’t solve our problem. This year, we have minor which is U18, the Celtic Challenge which is U17 and we have three teams in that.

“Then someone, I don’t know who, decided to put us into the standalone U17 (All-Ireland championship) straight into the semi-final. That, for me, is a total lack of respect for our county. 

“We’re doing an awful lot for the Association but I just don’t think what’s going on at present is right. It’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth, anyhow.”


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