The Cork hurling crisis edged closer to a resolution on Tuesday night when manager Gerald McCarthy resigned his position.
McCarthy traveled to a meeting in Mallow with the 2009 squad and informed them of his decision to quit after clubs had called for his resignation on Sunday.
His resignation now clears the way for the striking 2008 squad to return to duty once a new manager is appointeed.
The striking Cork hurlers received another resounding vote of support from the rank and file clubs, and McCarthy’s position was undermined again on Sunday when the majority of delegates backed a motion of no confidence in his tenure at another meeting between the striking 2008 squad and the local clubs.
More than 400 club members voted overwhelmingly against McCarthy and also voted in favor of a motion calling for an overhaul of their county board and its procedures.
Virtually every club in Cork was represented at the second meeting, with the striking players as the county board prepares to meet the clubs themselves this week.
The meeting, held in the Maryborough House Hotel, saw the motion calling for McCarthy’s sacking passed by 193 votes to nil, with 44 delegates abstaining and 23 clubs deferring their votes.
Afterwards a delighted 2008 hurling squad captain John Gardiner told The Irish Times, “We’re very happy with the result. Our main goal at the start of this thing was to see democracy in Cork GAA and we believe that if that is democracy tonight, then we will be back playing as soon as possible — very soon in fact.
“The people have spoken at grass roots level — it’s obvious democracy wasn’t working but from here on if the people of Cork at grass roots level and the clubs get their way, then these motions will be carried on Tuesday and we’ll be back playing hopefully.
“And that’s been our goal all along — all we’ve ever said from the start is to play for Cork and hand over a better system to the people coming after us.
“The clubs have spoken in our favor, the people of Cork have spoken and surely now the county board will have to listen.”
Sunday also saw a couple of thousand fans march through Cork in support of the striking hurlers before many staged a protest outside Pairc Ui Chaoimh ahead of the county footballers’ three point win over Fermanagh in the NFL.
The protest continued inside the ground and took from the latest win for the footballers.
After that game football boss Conor Counihan admitted that the long running saga was a problem for everyone involved in Cork GAA, including the footballers, who have threatened to join the strike at the conclusion of their NFL efforts.
“It is a distraction for everyone in Cork, you’d want to be naive to suggest otherwise,” said Counihan.