Corbett’s 2012 withdrawal ‘unmanageable’ for Tipperary backroom
News of Lar Corbett’s original intercounty retirement created consternation for then Tipperary PRO Ger Ryan. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
A leading Tipperary official has described Lar Corbett’s shock withdrawal from the Premier County’s senior hurling squad in February 2012 as an “unmanageable” situation.
Ger Ryan, chairman of the GAA’s medical, scientific and selfare committee, was Public Relations Officer with the Tipperary county board when the news broke that Corbett had quit Declan Ryan’s panel.
Ryan told Tipp FM: “I wrote an article for this year’s yearbook and I said that was the worst night of my five years.
“It was literally unmanageable. With Twitter and everything else, we just didn’t have time to get on top of it.
“I got 10 minutes’s notice that it was going to happen but suddenly there were stories out from everywhere – why did he go? . . . it was the manager’s fault . . . something happened with him . . . all sorts of theories out there.”
Ryan’s five-year term as Tipperary PRO is up but he will continue in a caretaker capacity until his successor is confirmed next month.
And he revealed how Tipperary officials dealt with the news that 2012 hurler of the year Corbett had walked away, albeit temporarily, from intercounty hurling.
Ryan explained: “The first thing was to try and assimilate and find out what was going on, and then try to get a statement out.
“The minute you issue a statement, people start reading things into that and saying that whatever this is, it’s not the truth, there must be something else going on.
“You find yourself in crisis mode, in denial mode and so on. I don’t think we ever really got on top of that until he came back, to be honest.”
Corbett eventually rejoined the Tipperary squad ahead of the 2012 championship but when the player’s intercounty career appeared to be at an end, Ryan remembers just how difficult a situation that was.
“I think there were four or five of us working together in Lár na Páirce (GAA museum and shop in Thurles) that night, trying to work together and deal with it.
“It did take us three or four hours before we got a coherent statement out. I compare that in that particular (yearbook) article to the day that (former manager) Liam Sheedy resigned (in 2010).
“We had more advance notice of that but we didn’t have Twitter as prevalent then. We were in more control of that. Social media, when a big news story happens, runs with it, it goes viral and that makes it very hard to control.”