By Sean Creedon
Munster GAA Council Chairman Sean Kelly has promised a full investigation into the disgraceful scenes at the end of the recent Munster under-21 hurling final between Clare and Tipperary in Ennis.
Kelly was waiting to present the champion’s cup to Tipp captain William Hickey when the row broke out and continued in front of the television cameras for about one minute. Clare were unhappy that their corner forward Brian McMahon had to retire after suffering an eye injury during the game. At the end of the game, the players, subs and officials took the law into their own hands and the gardai eventually had to intervene.
"We’ll wait for the referee’s report and investigate it from there," Kelly said. "But you can take it there will be no coverup and no closed doors."
McGrath’s wife lashes out
Paul McGrath’s wife, Caroline, has hit out at comments made about her husband by Jack Charlton in a new book. Charlton revealed that he used to have one of his staff sleep outside McGrath’s bedroom door to stop him going out drinking late at night.
Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo
Subscribe to one of our great value packages.
"In the last few weeks, I’ve had Alex Ferguson talking about Paul’s drinking in his book and now Jack Charlton," Caroline McGrath said. "Why did Jack hide it then and bring it up now? If you’re enormously affectionate about someone, you don’t bring up all these things from the past."
Charlton’s comments are carried in a new book to coincide with a series of radio interviews on RTE by various sporting stars.
Keane told to cool it
Robbie Keane, who scored the Republic’s opening goal against Yugoslavia last week, was under doctor’s orders to cut down on the celebrations. Keane, who is notorious for his cartwheels after scoring, had to be content with a celebratory dive on the ground.
"The team doctor told me to cut out the flips, rolls and cartwheels because I had a sore shoulder going into the game," he said.
Kerry’s Fitz injured
Kerry corner forward Maurice Fitzgerald will be out of action until the spring of next year after breaking a bone in his foot. The Caherciveen man, who was held scoreless in this year’s Munster final against Cork, broke a bone in his foot playing in a Kerry county championship game for South Kerry against Gaeltacht of Gallarus. The freak accident happened when Fitzgerald stubbed his foot while taking a free and was taken off. He hobbled around for a few days before medical checks revealed that he had in fact broken a bone in his foot.
Curley on the spot
Galway referee Michael Curley will take charge of the All-Ireland senior football final between Cork and Meath on Sept. 26. Curley, who refereed the Leinster football final this year, also took charge of the All-Ireland minor final last year. Earlier this year, the Clifden-based Garda superintendent was in the news when he was punched by Wexford manager J.J. Barrett following a National League game.
Meath’s Murphy fit
Good news for Meath in the run-up to their All-Ireland football final date against Cork. Ollie Murphy, who had to retire injured in the semifinal win over Armagh, should be fit to take his place. His knee is not as badly injured as originally predicted. And the Royals are also hopeful that Tommy Dowd, who is recovering from an operation on his back, should also be available for selection.
Meanwhile, Cork’s Aidan Dorgan is spending a week at Lilleshall in England in an effort to be fit for the final. Dorgan, who had a great National League campaign, missed the Munster final and All-Ireland semifinal because of a groin injury.
Wicklow turn to Coffey
Wicklow will be hoping that former star Moses Coffey can lead them to the promised land. Coffey has been appointed manager of the Garden County’s senior footballers, taking over from Ken Rennicks, who resigned during the summer following Wicklow’s Leinster championship exit.
Meanwhile, Mick O’Dwyer is definitely staying on with Kildare for another season. And the Kerryman has two new selectors. Out go Pat McCarthy, John Crofton and Pat Dunne. They are replaced by two men, Paddy Byrne of Round Towers and J.J. Walsh of St. Laurence’s.
The FAI last week signed a 10-year deal with Coca Cola to become the official soft drinks sponsor for Eircom Park. The deal is worth £2.6 million to the FAI. The FAI will shortly lodge a planning application with South Dublin County Council for their new stadium in Citywest, just off the Naas Road in Dublin.
TG4 Gaelic coverage
Telefis na G’ilge, which is now known as TG4, will provide live Gaelic Football and Hurling games over the fall and winter months. TG4 will show National League games, county finals, university games and a Shinty international against Scotland. Their first game will be the Donegal senior football final on Sept. 10.
McLaren draws blank
World famous rugby commentator Bill McLaren couldn’t find a place for any Irish or Welsh players in his all-time Rugby World Cup XV. "You make 15 friends and about 5,000 enemies doing a job like this," the legendary Scot said.