After last week’s removal of Cathal Barrett from the Tipperary hurling panel, rumours of unrest began to run riot. Padraic Maher has since weighed in on the rumours via social media over the past week.
Speaking to GAA.ie, Maher rubbished all of the rumours that had spread. The Thurles Sars star was shocked by the rumours and claims so were the entire panel.
The rumours were spread via social media and showed a real downside of today’s modern technology, and society in general.
Michael Duignan was just one of many to slate the behaviour. Rightfully so, the majority of the GAA world would agree.
The Tipp captain was damning of those involved and says that it’s something inter-county players should not have to deal with.
“Don’t ask me where it comes out of or who starts it. We were as much shocked as anyone else to see all of this, we’re just going out there to try to represent Tipperary as best as we can and people writing this stuff about you…at the end of the day lads have personal lives, families, jobs to go to every day.
“What way is that affecting their lives? Look, it’s not nice. People shouldn’t have to deal with that in inter-county hurling or anywhere.”
Maher says that the players will do everything in their power not to affect them. The Premier men will be more determined now more than ever to silence critics.
It’s easy to see why Tipp hurlers seem to be more subject to criticism than others, particularly from within their own county. Perhaps it’s the level of expectation the Tipperary crowd hold for their players.
When expectation is taken out like this, however, it’s too far. Michael Ryan’s men will be keen to prove their doubters wrong.
“It’s become laughable inside with us players, if anything it’s given us a bit of a giggle, that kind of stuff brings you together and you just move on.
“At the end of the day our job is to represent the Tipperary jersey every day we go out and try to do it to the best of our ability. We’re looking forward now to the challenge of the All-Ireland series, that’s what we have to concentrate on.”
The only truth to come out of last week’s stories was that Cathal Barrett was in fact released from the panel. Maher, who is a four-time All Star, says the door is not entirely closed to the Holycross corner-back.
This will come as encouraging news to the supporters, and the hurling public in general, as Barrett is one of the game’s brightest prospects.
“Look, Cathal is still a good friend of ours, He could still be back, we don’t know what the story is to be honest because it’s a decision between player and manager.”
With Tipperary now seemingly coming in under the radar, perhaps they are better equipped now to mount a challenge. It’s unknown for now how Tipperary will react to recent events, one would expect a backlash.
The Premier are down but not out.
Kevin Daly, Pundit Arena