Niall Arthur. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Louth manager Philip O’Brien has again vented his frustration at the Arthur brothers, Niall and Gerry, not being allowed to take to the field in Saturday’s Nicky Rackard Cup defeat to Longford.
The pair had their permits to represent the Wee County withdrawn by the GAA as a result of an objection lodged by an unnamed party ahead of their competition opener against Warwickshire a fortnight ago.
It was hoped that they would have the issues, which revolve around their residency in the county, resolved in time to line-out last weekend, however, on Friday night, O’Brien got confirmation that they were ineligible for the second consecutive fixture.
“I was told during week that they would be back if they provided more information and they supplied that, but the CCCC couldn’t rule on it. They didn’t even have a meeting on it.
“I spoke to the secretary of the CCCC, Fergal Magill, on Friday night and told him how disappointed I was and what a big part these guys play in promoting hurling in Louth.
“Fergal said that his hands were tied and that the chairman didn’t make a decision in time and that the CCCC wouldn’t be having a meeting until Monday week. I think that’s unacceptable after the guarantees that were given to the players. If we had a match this weekend, they still couldn't play.
“It’s unacceptable in this day and age that lads are left sitting out there and that we, as a management team, are left as well. I don’t know if I’ll even have them at all this year.”
He added: “If it was a Dublin, Kerry or Mayo footballer, or a Kilkenny or Tipperary hurler, it would have been dealt with. This is the type of thing that happens. The smaller counties and the smaller people are forgotten about.”
When asked if he thought about resigning over the events, O'Brien said that he was too loyal to his players to have done so.