Shane Dowling believes John Kiely's remarks about Galway players diving during their clash with Limerick on Sunday were "blown out of proportion".
Kiely was unhappy with some of the frees awarded to the Tribesmen during Sunday's Allianz Hurling League game at Pearse Stadium. Limerick conceded 22 frees while the hosts - who won by six points - coughed up 14.
"When a player has the ball and they run at you and throw themselves on the ground and they are roaring and shouting, that's embarrassing," Kiely said afterwards. "That’s not part of the game. There were some clear examples of simulation there today."
On Tuesday Kiely retracted those comments, telling the Irish Examiner: "I should have paid more attention to my own performance and that of the team than to the opposition.
"I wish to wholeheartedly retract those comments with regard to Galway and to apologise for them. It's important that I set the record straight now that I’m certain that what I saw was not what I believed I had seen."
Dowling, who helped Limerick end a 45-year famine to win the Liam MacCarthy Cup under Kiely in 2018, said the whole thing was much ado about nothing.
"I was at the game. I was a good bit back from the play," he told the RTÉ GAA Podcast.
"I'm very slow to give out about referees because when you're so far away from it, it wouldn't be fair to give a comment straight away. Sometimes with the benefit of having a television there beside you and seeing the replay you get to see it quicker.
"John was right down on top of the play so he'd have seen it a lot better than I did. I didn't pay a whole lot pile of heed to [his comments] to be honest.
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"I think what he really wanted to get across was his disappointment with how the games were being refereed. I don't think he tried to have a pop off any of the referees, I think it was just generally about the way they were being done.
"Unfortunately, there were things blown out of proportion in my opinion.
"Obviously on reflection he wanted to come out and give an apology but listen, John has built up so much credibility over the last five years and beyond that people know the way he is at this stage.
"He's a genuine guy that doesn't want to insult or harm anyone that's involved in the game or indeed anyone that he's involved with himself. To me it just shows a sign of the guy and all credit to him."