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Gerald McCarthy

Death threats force Gerald McCarthy out as Cork manager

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Gerald McCarthy

Gerald McCarthy has explained that he was forced to resign as Cork hurling boss because he could not expect his family to withstand the pressure placed on them in recent weeks.

He also claimed his life had been threatened during the dispute.

The St Finbarr’s man confirmed he has reported at least one threat on his life to the Gardaí.

"A few days ago, my father who is in his mid-eighties, pleaded with me to step down after one of my sons, in my absence abroad, received the latest threat against me," a statement read.

"The threat against my life which has been referred to the Gardaí, is the latest in a sequence of threats and abuse, random or organised I do not know,  which I and my family members have had to endure over the past few months.  

"Given the kind of vitriol at recent public meetings and indeed in some media commentary, it is hardly surprising that thugs have attached themselves to the “cause” of the 2008 hurlers. 

"I cannot continue to expect a family even as supportive as mine to withstand that pressure and possibly to put their own safety at risk."

McCarthy also claimed that some players had been advised not to attend his mother's funeral. He thanked those players who opted to ignore that advice.

McCarthy delivered his statement to the media at the Cork hurling base in Mallow in which he said he could no longer put the safety of his family at risk. He also reserved some stinging criticism for members of the 2008 Cork hurling panel.

McCarthy claimed "self interest and the evolving pay for play agenda are the primary motivating factors for the leaders of the dispute".

He added that the 2008 players had “dishonoured the Cork jersey”.  He also stated that he was not, as some people have claimed, resigning for the good of Cork hurling; rather, he said that his departure could be “detrimental to Cork hurling in the long term".

“From my perspective, they have dishonoured the Cork jersey and used it as a weapon and a threat. I believe that for the majority of previous Cork All-Ireland winners, and we did have some before the 08 panel arrived on the scene, that is the ultimate sporting abuse,” he said.

McCarthy stressed at the end of the statement that he felt the stance he had taken was the right one.

The statement continued: " My reasons for taking the stand I did four months ago are as valid today as they were then. Hurlers should not have the right to appoint their own manager, veto the appointment of a manager, interview their own manager or pursue commercial interests at the expense of the broader GAA family. 

"Self interest and the evolving pay for play agenda are the primary motivating factors for the leaders of the dispute. How those clubs now supporting the players are not uneasy about the sabotaging by the players of a sponsorship [again through a strike threat] which would have added  €450,000 for investment in facilities in the county, is well and truly beyond me."

He added: “Hurlers should not have the right to appoint their own manager, veto the appointment of a manager, interview their own manager or pursue commercial interests at the expense of the broader GAA family.

“My greatest disappointment is to have to leave the current team and the selectorial and backroom team who have been outstanding, honourable, steadfast and at all times motivated by the highest of values.”

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