LIMERICK GAA chairman Oliver Mann has condemned personal and social media abuse of the county senior hurlers and management.
Manager TJ Ryan was confronted by an angry supporter after the final whistle, in Thurles last Saturday, that confirmed defeat and Limerick hurling’s worst season since 2010.
And, All Star Shane Dowling was also involved in an exchange with a supporter as he departed down the tunnel after the Dublin defeat.
“I know that players got some very, very strong verbals coming off the field and I know the manager, because I was within five or six paces of him, was insultingly abused and that’s just to put it mildly. No matter what the result is, no matter how passionate you are, you have to control that,” the chairman said at this Tuesday’s County Board meeting.
“To subject anybody, who gives the amount of time that these guys give voluntary, to that type of abuse is totally totally wrong. As chairman of the County Board I condemn that abuse,” said Mann.
“Players and management are getting abuse on social media and I think that is cowardly because how many of them were in Martinstown, Rathkeale, Patrickswell or the Gaelic Grounds for maybe 120-130 sessions when these lads trained and the management and back-up personnel were there - very, very few of them.”
He added: “We have to respect people and if we don’t respect people we won’t get anybody to do any jobs for us in either our clubs, county board or divisional board level. People are prepared to give up an inordinate amount of time for the good of Limerick GAA”.
The issue was raised by Jim Riordan, Limerick City Board chairman.
“The most disappointing part of it all was that our manager was assaulted coming off the pitch and a players as well - now that’s nasty. We were all disappointed but if that man is involved with a club, he should be dealt with,” stressed Riordan.
TJ Ryan has played down the incident.
“That’s frustration - in fairness to the Limerick supporters they have been very good to me. That’s sport - you get the credit when you win and you get the blame when you lose and you have to take that on the chin,” said TJ Ryan of his incident.
Ryan isn’t to seek any action to be taken in relation to the incident.
“That’s passion and frustration - they want to win the same as myself,” added TJ Ryan.