Sunday 20 October 2019

Just one voice of dissent as Davy is warmly welcomed

Brendan Furlong
Brendan Furlong

Brendan Furlong's Hop Ball

Diarmuid Devereux deserves better than this.

After pulling off one of the biggest moves in the G.A.A. for many a year in attracting Davy Fitzgerald to take up the role as Wexford Senior hurling manager, the transparency of his committee came in for scrutiny.

The high-profile committee carried out a series of interviews, both with local and outside applicants, with confidentiality always being high on their priority list, protecting the names of those who expressed an interest in the post and who were ultimately interviewed.

But this did not deter Oulart-The Ballagh delegate, Ger Doyle, from questioning the transparency of the committee at Friday night's special County Board meeting, claiming that they gave an interview to Liam Dunne, knowing he would not get the position, with a similar fate allegedly being bestowed on another Oulart-The Ballagh man.

Diarmuid Devereux was quick to pour cold water on the allegations, informing the County Board meeting that Liam Dunne sought an interview which was duly granted, and was treated with the same courtesy as all candidates.

As regards Frank Flannery, he specified that the Cork native never sought the job, never asked for an interview, and was not interviewed, as he wanted to concentrate on his Oulart-The Ballagh role.

This was the only negative to be taken out of what was a momentous night for Wexford hurling, the appointment of Davy Fitzgerald as Senior manager, but it was quickly swept aside by other delegates who offered no support or backing to the Oulart-The Ballagh delegate's claims.

This was difficult to consume as it was coming from a man who was Chairman before Diarmuid Devereux assumed the top position and steered the county out of its financial woes.

And during the Oulart-The Ballagh delegate's period of office, he drove to Dungarvan to sack a fine Wexford man who played hurling and football in all grades for the county, and who had steered the hurling side he managed to the All-Ireland quarter-final of 2008, only to lose out to Waterford by just one point.

The man in question was John Meyler who also played for Cork and captained St. Finbarr's to an All-Ireland club football title. The Chairman was also at the helm when Paul Bealin's role as Senior football manager was ended.

For what it's worth, Meyler also acted as a selector to Cork Senior hurling teams, while only recently he was appointed coach to the Rebel county's Under-21 hurling team.

For once County Board got it right. The delegates treated the allegations of Doyle with total silence.

Coming on the back of the excitement on the appointment of Davy Fitzgerald as Senior hurling manager, it was also an excellent weekend for the big ball game in the county.

Incidentally, Davy will be present at next Sunday's Pettitt's Senior hurling final, so supporters should turn out and give him a real Wexford welcome.

Back to the football scene, and I witnessed four excellent games over the weekend. The two Intermediate semi-final replays produced football of real quality, setting up a mouth-watering deciderbetween neighbours Bannow-Ballymitty and Taghmon-Camross.

On Sunday we had the most dramatic Senior football final in years with Gusserane O'Rahilly's coming back from the dead, with six unanswered points in the closing twelve minutes helping them bridge a 41-year gap with a one-point victory over a stunned Glynn-Barntown.

The excitement of that closing twelve minutes will live in the memory of supporters, particularly from Gusserane, for years to come. Earlier one had witnessed a quality Wexford People Minor football Roinn 1 final which eventually ended in a draw involving Sarsfields and Castle-Craan Gaels.

On the refereeing front it was a mixed weekend. Penalty drama as outlined in the match reports occupied the minds in both Intermediate semi-finals, leaving both Damien Donovan and Fintan O'Reilly with three out of five.

In his biggest assignment of his six-year career with the whistle, Anthony Tobin handled the Senior game superbly, giving him five out of five.

Brendan Martin, the man in the middle of the Minor final, used the whistle intelligently, with four out of five.

Wexford People

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