A solution of sorts has been found to resolve the ongoing controversy over the appointment of a manager to the Limerick intermediate hurling team.
Former senior boss Tom Ryan had been put forward by a five-man sub-committee - that included vice-chairman of the county board Pat Heffernan - but that proposal had been turned down by the the Limerick GAA executive, to much controversy.
At a county board meeting in Clauaghaun on Thursday night, however, a compromise was reached when a proposal to put forward the five intermediate selectors, including Tom Ryan, with nobody holding the actual title of manager. in 2014 the Limerick intermediate hurlers will have five selectors (Tom Ryan, Jimmy Carroll, Don Flynn, Pat Howard and Tony Roche) as suggested by Pat Heffernan’s committee, but all of those will have equal status.
An impassioned plea from West Limerick Chairman Pat O’Donnell not to put the issue to a vote was crucial.
“I firmly believe there should be no vote, that this will lead only to confrontation, to a split in the clubs,” said O’Donnell. “What is to be gained by it? Nothing. There will be no winner — all we’ll have are losers all over the place. If the motion is lost, the officers are in a perilous position; if it’s won, our noses (club delegates) will have been rubbed in it.
“Biggest loser of all though will be Limerick GAA. I’m ashamed to be here to see what’s going on. In any dispute there has to be compromise. Both sides have now backed themselves into a corner — how do you get out of that corner? You stand back and attempt to solve the problem.
”If the delegates here are truly interested in the good of Limerick hurling, then let us take ownership of this problem.
“I suggest that Tom Ryan should be the crossover selector between the U-21s and the intermediates and that Don Flynn should be the intermediate manager.”
Patrickswell’s Paul Foley - who was also on Heffernan’s committee - then withdrew the motion that their original proposal of Tom Ryan as intermediate manager be voted on.
Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann was happy that the issue was resolved and that the county can move forward from this latest incident.
“I am relieved that for the sake of Limerick GAA we reached a conclusion that was acceptable to all, management and clubs.
“That was very important, that we got out of here tonight united and into our convention this Sunday on a positive note. It would have been a real pity if what had been a great year for Limerick GAA had ended on a sour note. We won the Munster titles in minor and senior hurling, the footballers were promoted to division three, the ladies also did well, won their league and got to an All-Ireland final, while we hosted a hugely successful Féile. All in all it’s been a great year for Limerick GAA — this was just one discordant note in what had been a fantastic season.”