Galway officials were unaware of players’ discontent

Report to county convention praises Anthony Cunningham for all his ‘great work’

Anthony Cunningham: resigned after mediation with Galway senior hurlers failed to achieve a reconciliation. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Anthony Cunningham: resigned after mediation with Galway senior hurlers failed to achieve a reconciliation. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

Galway officials were unaware of the scale of the differences between Anthony Cunningham and his players when they reappointed him in September as hurling manager for 2016, according to the county’s top GAA official.

Galway GAA chief executive John Hynes said that they only became aware of the extent of the crux when approached by two player representatives five days after he was reappointed.

But he said every player got “both consideration and opportunity” during Cunningham’s four years in charge.

Hynes outlines the timescale of events, which has rocked the GAA in Galway since September, in his report to the county’s annual convention.

He said Cunningham had been reappointed on September 28th, a day after meeting player representatives to discuss issues they had with 2016.

“Five days later, on Saturday October 3, two player representatives met with five officers of the county and hurling committees to explain their issues, express their views in relation to the 2016 season ahead and outline the change they believe is required, to ensure success.

“This was the first time that the county committee officers became aware of the scope and depth of feeling among the players in relation to these issues.

“It is important to clarify that no county officer was made aware of these issues, prior to October 3. Furthermore there is no evidence to suggest that any hurling officer, club delegate or any county committee officer or member was aware of these issues, prior to the meetings on September 28, at which the manager was proposed and reappointed for 2016,” said Hynes.

Surprised supporters

“There was widespread dismay in the GAA community, especially in the Galway hurling community, when news of an impasse between the 2015 senior hurling panel and the current management team surfaced”

Galway officials, left in no doubt about the scale of the problem when 29 players turned up to the next meeting with officers, then decided to bring in a mediator in an effort to find a resolution.

But the mediation efforts proved fruitless.

“The mediator determined that despite best efforts there was little if no possibility of getting the parties to reach agreement, on the substantive issue.”

Cunningham eventually resigned as Galway manager on November 16th , accusing a minority of players of having driven the issue in a bid to extend their playing careers.

CEO Hynes paid tribute to Cunningham for having guided Galway to two All-Ireland finals as well as winning the Leinster title for the time in his four years in charge.

“While Anthony and his management teams were in charge, every player in our county got both consideration and opportunity and I wish to express our deepest and profound gratitude to Anthony and his management team for the great work they have done . . .”

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