‘It’s bad judgement and he probably made the wrong call’ – Limerick legend Ciarán Carey on Treaty hurler’s alleged headbutt
IT has been a tumultuous week for Limerick hurling with a member of John Kiely's squad involved in a breach of team protocols in the wake of their Munster defeat of Tipperary, but Treaty legend Ciarán Carey has sympathy for the player in question.
A Limerick statement on Tuesday night revealed that "the matter has been dealt with by management internally" after it emerged that one of Kiely's squad members was alleged to have head-butted a rival player in a Limerick pub on Sunday night.
Carey believes that a "bad judgement" call was made by the player involved – especially given the proximity of Limerick's final round-robin game against Clare on Sunday in Cusack Park – after being "in the wrong place at the wrong time".
"I felt sorry for the player involved and the individual himself. On the field, an awful lot of people talk about making the right call, making the right decision, making the right pass and sometimes off the field you've to do the same thing," Carey told the OurGame podcast on Patreon.
"There's only a week between the two games and I suppose he's after making a little mistake. It's an amateur sport and this particular player is somebody's son; he could be somebody's partner and he has to deal with this now in his own little way and his own mental health and whatever disciplinary action is going to come from that.
"I hope it pans out okay for him, I feel sorry for him, in the wrong place at the wrong time basically, especially when there's only a week of a gap between matches. If it was this Sunday night, you'd probably have three weeks of a gap to a Munster final.
"And they could have gone some place quiet if they wanted to have a chat between themselves. But bang smack in the middle of the championship, he obviously knows this himself, it's bad judgement and he probably made the wrong call so my heart goes out to him to be honest."
Carey doesn't expect this off-the-field incident to have a negative effect on Limerick's chase of an historic All-Ireland three-in-a-row, in fact the three-time All-Star predicts that it will "probably make them that bit tighter" as a squad.
"No, I wouldn't think so, I think they're a lot more mature than that," Carey added when asked if the incident and the fall-out from it might affect their performances between the white lines.
"If anything, it'll actually galvanise the spirit between the squad. From the outside looking in it might look as a very negative thing but I'd imagine in that army of the Limerick squad, it'll probably make them that bit tighter and it'll probably crank it up another few notches."
Carey courted some controversy during his own days with Limerick and the Patrickswell clubman admitted that it is often a challenge for inter-county players to remove themselves from "unwanted noise" given their status.
"If social media was around in my time, I'd be a star in it every week so thank God it wasn't there," Carey quipped.
"You will always come across somebody and they'll be testing you and I suppose that's why it's so important that wherever one goes that you're in good company and with solid people and they can spot it quicker before anything can happen.
"Unfortunately, we've no control whatsoever where we go about whoever we meet and what they say but we have control in around our reply and removing ourselves from what I would call unwanted noise.
"I've had a certain amount that would try to 'have an aul cut off Ciarán Carey and we'll see what he's made off' and this is a macho image. I suppose that depends where you go.
"If you're going to the solid places, you won't experience it, but it depends where you go. That comes back to making the right call, the right choice, the right decision and with the right people around you."
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