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Davy Fitzgerald says he was unaware comments about 'harder stuff than drink' were being recorded

Updated: Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 13:57

Manager Davy Fitzgerald led Clare to the All-Ireland hurling title in 2013
Manager Davy Fitzgerald led Clare to the All-Ireland hurling title in 2013

Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald has said he wasn't aware he was being recorded when he made comments last night about Clare's off-field activity. 

Fitzgerald has revealed he had to drastically change Clare's approach when he first became manager in 2011.

His comments came during a speech he made at a physical health seminar at Limerick Institute of Technology yesterday.

Fitzgerald said: "From the mid-2000s, in Clare, my feeling was that Clare was a social team," he said.

"I know some of them were even taking harder stuff than drink" - Davy Fitzgerald 

"I know some of them were even taking harder stuff than drink. I couldn't understand this.

“To me, I play to win, and if you are doing stuff like that, you're wasting your time."

He said that he and the team go to the bottom of the issue during a three-hour meeting after he became manager.

“I questioned them and I said 'do we really need alcohol and do you need to take substances that will make you feel better'.

"We teased it out, we spent three hours out in Bunratty teasing it out. We decided we were going to stand up and draw a line under it and say 'No'.

"We decided we were going to come to training and enjoy ourselves and were going to communicate with each other. We want to enjoy what we do."

Fitzgerald gave a wide ranging talk at LIT, lasting close to half an hour, where he also spoke about how he was bullied when he was a child and the importance sport can have on people’s mental health. 

GAA President Liam O'Neill has since said he has no reason to believe that a drink or drug culture exists in the modern game.

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