John Joe Holleran,chairman of the Galway football board, has denied claims of a crisis in the county and has hit out at former All-Ireland-winning captain Ray Silke for making such suggestions.
Holleran said he was ‘disappointed’ at comments Silke made on the Irish Examiner sports blog this week saying that the departure of Kieran Fitzgerald and Niall Coleman was a result of the unrest within the county.
Fitzgerald left Tomás Ó Flatharta’s squad because of a continuing hamstring problem while Coleman, a self-employed carpenter, said he needed to concentrate on work.
“I spoke to both players and those are the reasons they left. Tomás has told them the door is open if their circumstances change, and hopefully they will. Kieran has been a wonderful servant to Galway football and hopefully he will recover and come back. I can fully appreciate Niall’s situation. I have been self-employed myself all my life and know how hard it can be.
“Ray Silke is in a privileged position as he has a secure teacher’s job and three or four other jobs as well. It’s lovely to play for your county, a great honour, but not everyone is in a position to do so and that is the situation with Niall Coleman.
“I have been very disappointed with the comments of Ray Silke this week and I don’t think he is looking at the full picture,” said Holleran.
Silke claimed that Galway football is in crisis, with four of the last five managers from outside the county, he believes they were only interested in the senior team and paid no attention to the underage game.