Limerick boss John Kiely apologises to Galway for diving accusations

Kiely’s side fell to their first defeat since July 2019 when they met Tribesmen in the league

John Kiely has apologised for comments he made in the wake of Limerick’s league defeat to Galway. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

John Kiely has apologised for comments he made in the wake of Limerick’s league defeat to Galway. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Limerick manager John Kiely has apologised for accusing Galway hurlers of diving or “simulation” in the aftermath of the team’s first defeat since July 2019 on Sunday in Pearse Stadium.

In an interview with the The Irish Examiner on Tuesday he said that having reviewed video of the match, he wished “to wholeheartedly retract” the comments and “apologise for them”.

“I should have paid more attention to my own performance and that of the team than to the opposition,” he said. At the time I was of the opinion that I had seen an incident that I wasn’t happy with. It was late in the game and very much to the forefront of my thoughts after the game.

“But over the last two days, I’ve been going through the video footage of the game and have had a very clear sight of those incidents I referred to. The bottom line is that what I thought I had seen was absolutely not the case.

“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.

“We’ve had a fantastic relationship with the Galway players and management over the last number of years. We’ve had some fantastic battles, and I’ve known their current management team, Shane O’Neill and John Fitzgerald, for a long time and have tremendous respect for them. I want to apologise to them for any insinuation that might have been inferred from my comments last Sunday.”

It was Galway’s first win in the fixture since the 2017 league semi-finals since when Limerick have twice defeated them in championship, the All-Ireland final of 2018 and last November’s All-Ireland semi-final.

“In the past the Galway team and management showed tremendous grace and dignity when we’ve met them. They showed that in 2018 and again last year, and that was the least I owed them after they beat us on Sunday.

“They were far better than us on the day last Sunday in every facet of the game and fully deserved their victory, and I should have dwelt on that aspect of the game afterwards, instead of focusing on what I felt was simulation. In doing so I fell far short of the standards I set myself.

“It’s important when we make a mistake that we have the wherewithal to put our hands up and say, ‘listen, I got that one wrong’ and learn from it and move on.

“Hopefully over the last four years, I haven’t made that many mistakes, but those comments on Sunday were certainly not accurate or fair and I am very happy to correct the record and apologise.”

Limerick, the league title holders, play Waterford, who they defeated in last year’s All-Ireland final, in Walsh Park whereas Galway travel to Thurles to face Tipperary.

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