Former Limerick hurling joint-manager Donal O’Grady has hit out at what he claims are efforts to discredit him by the Limerick board.
O’Grady was responding to statement released yesterday by Limerick officials saying they were disappointed that O’Grady decided to step down as joint-manager before a resolution to their dispute could be found, and that he had resigned by voicemail message.
O’Grady resigned on Sunday, citing his unhappiness at the county board for failing to retract a claim that he and fellow boss TJ Ryan had apologised for the team’s poor form in the Allianz League.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, O’Grady said: “I was very disappointed with it because there were efforts made in that statement to discredit me, particularly around the voicemail issue.
"There were efforts made in that statement to discredit me" - Donal O'Grady
“I, in fact, spoke with Oliver Mann [county chairman]. I rang him on Sunday night and I got his voicemail first. We decided that I would ring Oliver and then we would send out emails to the players because it was important that they didn’t find out through Facebook, Twitter or some other source.
“I couldn’t get Oliver at the beginning and I rang him back within minutes and we had a very cordial conversation.
“I told him I was impressed that he had admitted immediately at out meeting in Charleville on 9 April that we hadn’t apologised and he has always struck me as very decent man and sincere man.
“He just noted at the end that he was very sorry I was stepping down and that’s how we left it.”
O’Grady continued: “So to leave a sentence there just hanging like that I had resigned by voicemail, I think that was an effort to discredit me as it would show a total lack of respect on my behalf to chairman Oliver Mann.
“I just want to refute that because I was very very disappointed that would be put on the Limerick website.”
O’Grady added that he no problem with Ryan remaining in his role as joint-manager.
Limerick failed to get promotion from Division 1B of the league and were subsequently beaten by Galway in the divisional quarter-final. The defence of their Munster title sees them face Tipperary on 1 June.
Ryan issued statement today saying what has happened over last two weeks has been “regrettable and untimely”.
His statement continued: “I firmly believe Donal O’Grady and I acted correctly in pursuing a retraction from county board in connection with comments concerning an apology regarding league performance. The county board have only now corrected this.
“We were both fully involved together in this situation. It is unfair to point the finger at Donal O’Grady as we were not to blame for this. We both felt that arbitration was unnecessary. All that was required was a simple one line statement.
“We agreed that I would remain on in the interim as upcoming fixtures, particularly a charity fundraiser against Cork were in place.
“Both myself and Donal worked very well together at all times. Training has been going well. It is regrettable this issue could not have been sorted immediately and a resolution found.”