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Clare manager Brian Lohan angry about close contact situation

Clare hurling manager Brian Lohan was unhappy that two of his players were deemed as close contacts.

Clare manager Brian Lohan was not happy that two of his players were unavailable to face Laois on Sunday after being deemed close contacts of a Covid-19 positive case. Clare played against Wexford last week and two Wexford players tested positive after the match.

The Wexford players were deemed to have named two Clare hurlers as close contacts and when speaking to RTE on Sunday night, Lohan stated that he didn’t understand how his own players were deemed as close contacts.

Clare had defeated Laois by 13 points in Sunday’s encounter.

“We were contacted by the HSE to say that two of the Wexford players nominated two of our players as close contacts. So, that was unusual for us, because any of the protocols that we do are aimed to try and make sure that we’re casual contacts rather than close contacts,” Lohan said.

“In one incident where a substitute came on for Wexford, he named one of our players as a close contact so I find it very unusual that that would be the case.

“I don’t think we have to learn anything from it. We’ll follow the rules whatever the rules are. Certainly, there was a whole lot of anger amongst our set-up as a result of what happened.”

Anthony Daly doesn’t understand how this situation arose.

Writing in Monday’s Irish Examiner, former Clare player and manager Anthony Daly could not understand how Wexford had no close contacts, yet two Clare players had to restrict their movements.

“No Wexford players were considered close contacts, while both Clare players were stood down from yesterday’s game against Laois as a precaution,” Daly said.

“Not considering any Wexford players as close contacts was all the stranger again with the risk involved when a large group had stayed in a hotel overnight before the game. It certainly wasn’t a surprise when Wexford were hit by another positive case of Covid-19, which resulted in the postponement of Sunday’s game against Kilkenny.

“Before that game eight days ago, I saw the Wexford players gathered in a tight huddle. At the last water break, Davy Fitzgerald gathered all of his players around him in a circle to issue instructions. One of the Wexford players who tested positive was in that huddle.

“So, if the guys right beside him weren’t considered close contacts, how in the name of God was the Clare fella he was marking deemed a close contact?”

Clare GAA release statement to clarify situation.

Clare GAA released a statement explaining the situation and revealed the protocols in place for their players.

“Clare GAA asked the two players who were deemed close contacts last week to step back from training and game activity once they were named and as a consequence have to isolate for the intervening 10 days from notification. Following voluntary testing of the two nominated Clare players they were deemed to be negative but will still be isolating.

“At all times Clare GAA teams adhere to the guidelines laid down by the HSE and the governing body of our sport. Clare GAA will take on board at all times the advice and support provided by the health authorities.

“Clare GAA will endeavour to ensure the strictest management of health and safety during Covid and non-Covid times for all Clare GAA teams and request that the clubs of the county do likewise as we now move into the playing season at levels.

“Clare GAA would like to wish the Wexford players a speedy recovery and finally congratulations our senior footballers and hurlers on their league wins yesterday in Newbridge and Portlaoise.”

Wexford county board displeased with Brian Lohan’s claims.

Wexford GAA released a statement in which they described the quotes by Lohan as “factually incorrect.”

“Wexford GAA wish to address the comments made by Clare Senior Hurling Manager Brian Lohan on Sunday May 23rd. The suggestion made that members of Wexford GAA had somehow nominated Clare players as close contacts is factually incorrect.

“Wexford GAA have again spoken to HSE South East this morning and this position can be independently verified by HSE. Wexford GAA will continue to work through the protocols as requested by HSE.”

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