It was widely reported that Rory O’Carroll was forbidden to play in the Leinster hurling final last night. It was also reported that the Co.Board had intervened in the matter. However, hurling supporters couldn’t believe their eyes when it became obvious just before the game that he would not be taking part. Did the Co. Board intervene and fail to get him released or was no effort made to release him? I feel that the team’s poor start may have been caused by the will he / won’t he play controversy. There would have been a lot of angry people in Parnell Park on Wednesday evening if we had lost and I have no doubt that the Co. Board officers were more than delighted that Dublin weathered the storm. A defeat for the u-21 team would not have helped the preparation for the big game in Croke Park on Saturday. I can only imagine the anger of Anthony Daly and his crew if defeat had been our lot. Anthony referred to the whole saga as a ‘joke’. This is not the first time that Dublin hurling has been put in its place by Dublin football. The Co. Board run Dublin GAA and they need to exert their authority in matters like this. In fairness to the Board they have put a lot of money into the promotion of hurling but a defeat last night would have been a major setback to Dublin hurling. Dublin has failed to deal with the dual player problem for years and it continues to raise its head every year. Just this very year a member of the Dublin minor hurling and football squads decided to opt out of the hurling squad shortly before the Leinster final and threw in his lot with the footballers. He was shocked a week later when he didn’t even make the panel for the Kildare game.Thankfully the Dublin minor hurling manager called him and invited him back to the hurling squad.
Tough luck on Rory O’Carroll not to be allowed play last night. He already has won Leinster and All-Ireland football medals and he would be a very small elite group to have won in both codes. He is an outstanding young man and was missed by his team mates last night.