Former Galway manager Tim Rabbitt has hit back after LGFA CEO Helen O'Rourke accused him in her annual report of attempting to "destroy the integrity of the association".   

Rabbitt's Galway team were at the centre of a major controversy last year, when their All-Ireland semi-final match-up against Cork was subject to one venue change six days out from the game (from Limerick to Parnell Park) and then another on the morning of the game (from Parnell to Croke Park) due to an unplayable surface amid icy conditions in Donnycarney. 

As a result, the throw-in time in Croke Park was pushed forward by half an hour to accommodate the men's All-Ireland semi-final between Mayo and Tipperary, already pencilled in for 3.30pm. Amid the confusion, the westerners were eventually accorded a mere six minutes to complete their warm-up.

Cork proceeded to win the game 2-17 to 0-13, with Rabbitt announcing subsequently that he regretted not walking off the field in protest at his team's treatment. 

Rabbitt afterwards stood down as manager after two years in charge, having led Galway to an All-Ireland final in 2019 and a semi-final in 2020. 

In her annual report last week, the LGFA's O'Rourke explicitly criticised Rabbitt's post-match reaction, saying "it is regrettable that a manager who was so gracious earlier in the day for the efforts that we made to have the game played and who had his requests for additional time met would turn around and try and destroy the integrity of the Association and the people involved after the game."

When contacted this afternoon, Rabbitt said he was "deeply hurt" on hearing the comments of the CEO.

"I am extremely disappointed to be brought back into the controversy surrounding last year's All-Ireland LGFA semi-final and I am deeply hurt by the comment made by the CEO in her report. 

"At all times my concern has and will always be what is best for the players. 

"I know that the LGFA is a progressive organisation that it is working hard to promote the Ladies' game, however this does not mean that they are above criticism when expected standards of competition are not met. 

"The players are the most important part of the organisation. The fact is the preparation for the All-Ireland semi-final was not in keeping with the stature of an All-Ireland semi-final and worthy of the efforts the players had put in over the previous months preparations.

"As I said at that time, this would not happen in the men's game and if we are truly seeking equality and "a level playing field" we should not accept it in the ladies game. 

"The LGFA is an organisation I am proud to be a member of and although I am no longer the manager of the Galway team I will continue to be involved wherever I can assist a team.

"I wish to state that at no time has any member of the LGFA organisation including the president contacted me since the All Ireland final to speak to me about the events on the day.

"The Galway players have not yet received the apology that they deserve. If lessons are to be truly learnt, let's start there."