Laois player ‘antics’ under fire

LAOIS secretary, Niall Handy, has slammed the “antics and socialising” of some of county’s senior footballers after a disappointing season.

Writing in his report for tonight’s annual convention, Handy is also highly critical of the financial irregularities that were unearthed in October and led to the resignation of two officers. An investigation found that €42,000 in ticket money had been unaccounted for from five years ago.

Although they denied any wrongdoing, vice-chairman, Tony Walsh, who was treasurer for the period in question, and Leinster council delegate, Dick Miller, who had been chairman, both stood down.

“The revelations during the year, as a result of an investigation, that the county incurred significant trading losses on ticket sales five years ago was disappointing and has damaged the credibility and reputation of Laois GAA to no end,” Handy states.

“These losses and subsequent write-offs should have been disclosed at the time to the management committee and county committee.

“Unfortunately they weren’t and we now find ourselves in a position where we must restore confidence and accountability in Laois GAA.”

His comments on the social activities of some of the Laois footballers did not come as a surprise, as chairman, Brian Allen, had admitted that some players “strayed from the path”.

The issue had been highlighted when it was revealed that the players would have to sign a code of conduct to become part of the panel for 2010.

“While attendances and commitment to training was excellent, this is not portrayed to any degree in our championship and league performances, and unfortunately the antics and socialising of certain panel members, both before and after certain games, left a lot to be desired and tarnished the reputation of the entire panel,” blasts Handy in his report.

“This behaviour does not befit the image of an inter-county player and one can beggar to justify present expenditure on our teams and indeed the costs incurred by our supporters for such a poor response and return from some players.”

There is much praise for the performances of the county’s hurlers in securing Laois’ status as a Liam MacCarthy Cup county.

The players’ “commitment and honesty” during the defeat to Galway is lauded, while against Limerick “for 60 minutes our players produced as good and as courageous a hurling performance as seen by any Laois team in a long number of years”.


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