Cork coaching officer Kevin O’Donovan has described as “patronising” claims by new GAA director of hurling Martin Fogarty that the county’s hurling scene is not in crisis.
At a county board meeting following the seniors’ loss to Tipperary in May, O’Donovan highlighted the emergency situation Cork finds itself in although Fogarty argued with his point.
O’Donovan responded: “With regard to the Cork hurling crisis, it has been made clear by me and several others recently that current inter-county results are merely the straw that broke the camel's back, simply one of many indicators of our standing. Root and branch reform is required at club, school and county level, at child, youth and adult level.
“Our hurling and indeed football decline has roots stretching back decades and to dismiss the current concerns as a reaction to not bringing the Liam MacCarthy home every year is patronising at best. At worst, it delays the much-needed reforms to increase participation and performance levels in Gaelic games throughout this great county.”
O’Donovan’s argument would appear to be strengthened by the minors’ Munster semi-final defeat to Tipperary on Thursday, which came two days after the U21s were also knocked out.
He fears Fogarty’s comments indicate there will be little or no outside help to assist Cork in their time of need. “It reminds me of the Tom Hanks film, Castaway. He spends the earlier part of the movie sending SOS signals from his desert island, waiting for the rescue boats to arrive. None come. Then, after a period of utter despondency, he begins to build his own raft which ultimately leads to his salvation.
“It doesn't look like the rescue boats are going to be launched for Cork hurling any time soon. So, it's high time we built our own raft, time for us to start chopping some trees. There are no messiahs. The ‘we’ and ‘us’ are the clubs of county Cork and ultimately, power to change rests in their hands alone. Time will tell as to whether they are satisfied with their lot.”
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