Kelleher resigns from BLEKelleher resigns from BLE


THE FALL out from the politics of the Olympic Games in Atlanta claimed a notable casualty yesterday with the resignation of BLE's public relations officer, Fr Liam Kelleher.

Although he did not specifically mention the public squabbling in Atlanta in his letter of resignation, he said he was disillusioned by many of the recent developments.

"It would serve no useful purpose to detail the reasons for my decision, at this particular time," he said.

"My spirit, if not my love of the sport has been broken, particularly in the last six months by an ever increasing barrage of antagonism and hostility from within and outside the association. The general public is asking a lot of questions. Others may be able to answer them but I certainly cannot."

Kelleher, a curate in Whitechurch, Co Cork, is acknowledged as one of the great enthusiasts of Irish athletics and has made a significant contribution to the sport particularly at under age level.

He said that his letter of resignation was intended to be private and expressed surprise that it had been leaked to the press, ahead of the scheduled meeting of the management committee on September 13th.

He was in Atlanta in a private capacity but declined to become involved in the public wrangling between BLE and the Olympic Council of Ireland over the sportswear issue.

Earlier he had expressed support for the inclusion in the Olympic team of the Canadian marathon runner, Peter Maher after Maher, a former Irish international, had decided to switch allegiance for a second time. The move was rejected by BLE, causing at least some friction in Munster where the athlete was formerly based. It is not known, however, if this was a factor in Kelleher's abrupt departure.

A spokesman for BLE confirmed the receipt of the letter of resignation but declined to comment until it has been discussed at a meeting of the board's management committee.