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“I Was Probably Best To Just Keep My Mouth Shut”

Former Cork hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín has opened up on his regrets surrounding the hurling strike in 2009 when the side went to war with their county board. 

During that time, the 2008 panel withdrew their services over an argument about team management while they also asked clubs to put forward a motion of no confidence in manager Gerald McCarthy who later stepped down as a result of the controversy.

Speaking on last night’s The Sunday Game, the former All-Ireland winning captain stated that he wished matters were handled different and expressed regret at the biggest casualties from the fallout.

Ó hAilpín
Former Cork Manager Gerald McCarthy

“The worst one was ’09 and the one where there’s still aftermath… the biggest casualty out of that was Gerald McCarthy. Probably one of, if not the greatest, Cork greats having to step down.

“That’s 12 years on and not a day goes by when I think back to then, if things could have been done differently?”

When asked by presenter Joanne Cantwell if he thought the players should have handled the situation different, Ó hAilpín admitted that he wishes he had kept “his mouth shut”.

“There are certain actions, that would have been in hindsight… I can’t speak for the other players per se but I know myself, I would have said some stuff that during that time, with proper reflection, I was probably best to just keep my mouth shut.”

While he admitted that the two sides were at loggerheads, Ó hAilpín conceded that the county board govern the side while he shared his remorse over the bitter aftermath of the strikes.

“In my view the bottom line is, you had one party of the organisation, which was the playing group, who were looking to go that way, OK. And you soon realise you are not the biggest stakeholder or powerbroker in that situation.

Ó hAilpín

“It’s the county board that ultimately govern the association, the game in Cork, and obviously they didn’t want to go that way with us.

“They had their own views about the way they wanted the association run. And they were going that way, and we were just going two poles apart completely.

“And when you have two camps entrenched in their own beliefs, it was only going to lead to ringside tickets in Las Vegas, do you know what I mean?

“Because the aftermath, it was filthy, it was callous, it was cold.”

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter