LIMERICK’S three month search for an inter-county senior hurling coach ended this Tuesday night when Dinny Cahill was rubber-stamped at the October County Board meeting.
The former Antrim and Laois hurling manager joins manager TJ Ryan, selectors Davy Clarke and Don Flynn and strength and conditioning coach Joe O’Connor as the backroom team to lead Limerick into 2016.
Also at the meeting came confirmation, following a question from South Board secretary Hugh Murphy, that Sean O’Donnell has already departed the extended backroom team.
At the September County Board meeting the Garryspillane native was ratified as the team’s new video analyst. He worked under Jimmy Barry Murphy in Cork in recent years and it now appears he is to continue to work with Cork under Kieran Kingston rather than link up with Limerick.
Cahill’s appointment was anything but smooth.
After his proposal by Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann, there followed 10 minutes of debate.
The chairman then sought a formal proposal from the floor.
But an edgy 28 seconds of silence followed.
“With no proposer or seconder I will just have to move on to the next item,” said the chairman.
Then came an interjection from Crecora delegate Tim Ryan.
“In the interest of democracy I will propose and let the clubs decide,” said the former County Board officer.
The Cahill proposal was then quickly seconded by Pat O’Donovan.
“I don’t have a counter proposal so I take it that it’s passed,” said the chairman.
All that came after five delegates had comments or questions about the coaching role.
“It’s a sad reflection on our county that we have to go outside the county again for a coach for hurling,” said Bruff’s Michael Weekes.
The chairman responded: “Somebody made the comment last weekend that when Na Piarsaigh won the senior hurling championship it was the ninth year in succession that the Limerick senior hurling championship had been won by a team trained or coached by a Clare person.”
Monaleen’s Leo Morrison sought reassurances over “rumours” that “players are kicking up about the appointment”.
“First I heard of it and If they were, they haven’t made it known to Mike (O’Riordan), myself or Donal (Morrissey),” answered the chairman.
Kildimo-Pallaskenry’s Emmett O’Brien asked what other coaches were approached.
“All conversations we had with various people were in confidence. That confidence was broken by one individual (Jerry Wallace) last week in the Cork Examiner when he more or less indicated that he turned down the role with Limerick, which would be untrue because the role that man sought for himself with Limerick was not compatible with the role that management saw a coach playing. I am not going to elaborate any further because I don’t want to get into a war of words over the media,” outlined the chairman in reply.
Claughaun’s Liam O’Brien stated that his club had discussed the appointment the previous night.
“To call a spade a spade there are a lot of people who feel that the appointment of Dinny Cahill may not be in the best interest of Limerick hurling. My club would not be in favour of this decision,” he stated.
But ultimately Tipperary native Cahill was ratified.
Also ratified was Leo O’Connor as Limerick’s new intermediate hurling manager, but again not without question or comment.
City Board chairman Jim Riordan queried: “Leo was managing the minor team and he gave that up and now he is back being proposed for the intermediate job. I find it strange,” he said.
Limerick GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan answered.
“The time that goes into the minor team is probably the second most time consuming position in all managements within the county. They had about 130 sessions last year whereas the intermediate was 32 last year - talking to Leo he would be able for that with his circumstances but not for the minor. When we met Leo we asked him would he be available for any other position and when Don Flynn decided to go on board with the senior management we asked Leo if he would go on board with the intermediate team,” outlined O’Riordan, who also confirmed they had not asked anyone else about the role.
Former Limerick hurler Damien Reale and former Limerick City Hurling Development Administrator Ger Downes had been identified as selectors in correspondence with clubs prior to the meeting but only the manager was put forward for ratification.
“We will confirm the other lads in due course,” said the secretary.
O’Connor was proposed by City Board secretary Sean Burke and seconded by West Board delegate Pat O’Donnell.
Tuesday’s meeting also revealed that a three hour end of season review had taken place with Limerick’s All Ireland U-21 hurling winning management.
“We discussed the future and they will be back to us in the near future in relation to that - they have to consider a lot of things in relation to their own situation. Hopefully it will be positive but it will be their call and obviously the three main officers met then and encouraged that be back with us again next season,” said the secretary of John Kiely and backroom team.
The football appointments were straightforward with no questions.
Former Laois coach Jerome Stack is to join John Brudair’s senior football team as coach.
The Listowel man was Dromcollogher-Broadford coach in 2012 before spending the past two years with Laois.
He joins Brudair and selectors Mike Fahy and Declan Brouder with another selectors to be confirmed. Stack is also a former Kerry U-21 coach and back in 2006 played in the Limerick SFC with Adare.
Newcastle West’s Jerry O’Sullivan was also rubber-stamped as Limerick minor manager for another season.
He will have a new backroom team with Johnny Clifford and Gerry Philips as selectors and Eoin Joy and Ricky Ronayne as team coaches.