Limerick GAA secretary says County Board must accept share of blame for hurling turmoil

LIMERICK GAA secretary Mike O'Riordan has accepted that himself and his County Board executive officers have to shoulder some of the blame for the last nine months of turmoil in Limerick hurling.

Limerick GAA's full-time paid official said that divisions remained throughout the county and that it was his wish for the healing process to get underway.

"If you look at all sides in this current impasse there is a certain amount of blame that has to be taken on board from everybody," said Mike O'Riordan, when speaking on Limerick's Live 95FM's 'Limerick Today' current affairs show.

"I am not getting away from the fact that the County Board has to take some of the blame in this process, as do all the other stake holders in it."

He added: "But we have to learn from the mistakes that were made and try and sort out the issues that are on the table as we go forward into next year".

The secretary said that he was saddened by the division caused.

"It is deep and there is no getting away from it that it is deep - there are neighbours not talking to each other, families aren't speaking of it and the issue can't be brought down and there are clubs that are split, there is not getting away from that. Its very sad - a sad situation. Hopefully it can be rectified in the future."

O'Riordan said that he was also disappointed by a big drop in attendance figures at championship games.

"When you look at the match in Cork, I think there was 3,500 people from Limerick that only travelled for a first round of the championship when ordinarily, when you look at previous attendances, Limerick would normally have a far bigger following up to 15,000 for those games.

There might have been 1,000 or 1,500 people up in Tullamore on Saturday evening - its a divisive issue to be fair with the supporters. Its very disappointing to be fair - going back to the team that has come out and worn the Limerick jersey for the last 10 games, they deserve support, they have committed to the training the same as the '08 and '09 panel did."

He accepted that a percentage of the GAA support in Limerick laid the blame at the door of the County Board officers.

"I suppose the County Board are there to be shot at really. They are basically the managers of the county for hurling and football and every decision that is made it the county board's ultimate responsibility to implement those decisions," he explained.

He pointed out that the clubs of the county have a voice on all issues.

"The GAA is a democratic organisation and at the end of the day the clubs have the say and the majority say at all County Board meetings - there are 135 County Board delegates and ultimately they will have their say on every issue. Ultimately the decision will be made by the clubs of the county, who will have their say."

The secretary denied any ill-feeling between former and current players.

"I dont think there is any animosity shown to these teams on the 2010 panel from the 09 panel - there is a lot of clubs that have fellas that played on the 09 panel and that have played with the '10 panel. I think a lot of them have wished them the best," said O'Riordan.

Although Limerick failed to win any competitive fixture this season, O'Riordan said that progress was made.

Although the future of Justin McCarthy remains unclear, the secretary said that there was a possibility that some of the withdrawn players would play under his guidance in 2011.

"That situation can still occur in relation to another tenure for Justin McCarthy - a lot of the feed-back from the '09 panel after the last County Board meeting, I am led to believe was that they woudn't make themselves available for 2010 but that there was the possibility that they would be available for 2011. That players would review situation after the current championship ended."


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