LAOIS hurling manager Niall Rigney has claimed that players’ lives are being put at risk through poor scheduling of games.
He has also accused the GAA of hypocrisy regarding player welfare. He made his comments after learning that Sunday’s Laois v Kerry NHL Division 2 game will have a 1.0 start in Kilmoyley.
Laois had made the necessary arrangements for a 2.30 start, only to be informed of the earlier timing on Monday.
“We thought it would be at 2.30 as usual, but we’re told six days before the game that it’s 1.0. We were planning to leave Portlaoise at 8.30, stop off in Adare and arrive in Tralee at 1.10. We’re then told the game had been switched to Kilmoyley, which we had no problem with, but the throw-in time was brought back to 1.0.
“That means we have to be at our central meeting point in Portlaoise at 7am, so you can imagine how early some of the lads will be out of bed. Now if there was a good reason for it and if we had been told well in advance it might be different, but that’s not the case.
“We were told that the early start was to facilitate people who also wanted to attend the Kerry-Westmeath football game in Tralee at 2.30. How many will dash from Kilmoyley to Tralee?” asked a furious Rigney.
He said that, even with the earlier start, the squad won’t be back in Portlaoise until around 8.30 that night.
“Some of the lads are in college in Galway and Waterford, while others are in Dublin, so you can imagine what time they’ll get to those places on Sunday night/ Monday morning. If one of my players falls asleep behind the wheel of his car next Sunday night and is in a serious accident who will be responsible? Lives are being put at risk through this sort of nonsense.”
- Martin Breheny