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Limerick chief's plea to 'exiles'

THE Limerick GAA executive has again called on their 'striking' hurlers to resume playing under manager Justin McCarthy - but the plea is bound to fall on deaf ears, even more so given that the current dispute wasn't even mentioned at last night's county board meeting.

Incredibly, the detailed and hard-hitting statement released by 24 now-former Limerick players for publication yesterday didn't elicit even a passing response when Limerick officers and club delegates convened at the Claughaun GAA complex last night.

Humdrum

Instead it was a case of going through the mostly humdrum affairs of a normal county board meeting with no reference to the giant elephant in the room - the ongoing managerial tenure of the embattled McCarthy.

In their 1,667-word statement - signed by those 24 members of last year's panel who were either dropped by McCarthy, had already retired or are refusing to play for the Corkman - the players had also reserved some stinging criticism of the board executive.

However, contacted this morning, Limerick secretary Mike O'Riordan insisted: "Really we don't want to be getting involved in any type of tit-for-tat situation."

He added: "We are trying everything in our power to resolve the issue, but obviously there is an impasse. Everything at present is ongoing.

"There is nothing to elaborate on the situation."

While those words don't carry much hope of a speedy resolution, O'Riordan said Limerick will stick by McCarthy and the current squad that he has put together.

The new-look Shannonsiders will have their first competitive outing of 2010 in Kilmallock this Sunday (2.0), against a UCC outfit that has already sent Cork tumbling out of the Waterford Crystal Cup. Limerick hope to announce a team for that game tomorrow morning.

"We will carry on with the squad that is there, but the door is firmly open for any individual who wants to return to the panel," said O'Riordan.

Dropped

When asked if this referred to all 24, given that nearly half of those were originally dropped by McCarthy, the secretary replied that this was open to interpretation before adding: "Any individual (that was) part of the panel that they set up at the start of the year."

He concluded: "Really we want to see the best for Limerick, and presently we are going by the decision that was made at the December county board special meeting.

"At the end of the day, we hope that basically the situation can be resolved and we would urge that players would give the situation due consideration and we would hope that they would rejoin the panel."