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Wexford GAA chairman demands apology from Clare boss Brian Lohan

Wexford GAA chairman Micheal Martin has described comments made by Clare manager Brian Lohan as "...

Wexford GAA chairman demands a...

Wexford GAA chairman demands apology from Clare boss Brian Lohan

Wexford GAA chairman Micheal Martin has described comments made by Clare manager Brian Lohan as "ill-informed" and "outrageous" as the fallout continues from last week's clash in Ennis.

Lohan said it was "unusual" that two of his players were deemed as close contacts of Wexford players, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Wexford were due to face Kilkenny at Nowlan Park on Sunday but the game was postponed after three players in Davy Fitzgerald's squad tested positive for COVID-19.

Clare boss Lohan said they were contacted by the HSE to say that two of the Wexford players had nominated two of his players as close contacts.

However, Wexford GAA released a statement in response to say that was "factually incorrect".

A short statement read: "Wexford GAA wish to address the comments made by Clare senior hurling manager Brian Lohan on Sunday, 23 May.

"The suggestion made that members of Wexford GAA had somehow nominated Clare players as close contacts is factually incorrect.

"Wexford GAA have again spoken to HSE South East this morning and this position can be independently verified by HSE.

"Wexford GAA will continue to work through the protocols as requested by HSE."

Wexford chairman Micheal Martin spoke to South East Radio on Monday morning.

"I would like to again reiterate that no Wexford player had anything to do with the listing of Clare players as close contacts," Martin told the Alan Corcoran Show.

"This information can be independently verified by the HSE. We have spoken to the HSE and they, in turn, have spoken to Clare GAA, like I have with my counterpart there, and informed Clare GAA once again that the accusation is inaccurate.

"The key point is certainly that the comments made by the Clare senior hurling manager are inaccurate.

"The only people that decide whether you are a close contact or not are public health and the HSE.

"We certainly don't question public health. They make the decision and we have followed their guidelines at all times.

"The comments are inaccurate and are quite hurtful to the players involved."

The Wexford chairman also called on Lohan to withdraw his comments and to issue an apology.

"I note last weekend, for example, the Limerick hurling manager made comments in the heat after a match, and apologised and retracted them the following Tuesday.

"I would hope something similar would happen in this regard. Comments can be made after a match, emotions can run high, but when dealing with things like this, there is an onus to have a degree of accuracy in what you are saying and to make comments about our players that are inaccurate, I can't allow that to happen."

It was also put to Martin about the rumours that the Wexford players contracted coronavirus as a result of a house party.

"If this virus gets into a community like it did in Wexford two weeks ago, it is inevitable that it will get into primary and secondary schools," he replied.

"The schools and the GAA are our community and it has knock-on effects.

"But I will not get drawn into rumours on social media as a lot of it is just hype.

"The important message is that we must stick to regulations and guidelines and help to keep our clubs and schools safe."

Clare GAA also released a statement on Monday morning via Clare FM, which read: "Clare GAA asked the two players who were deemed close contacts last week to step back from training and game activity once they were named and as a consequence have to isolate for the intervening 10 days from notification.

"Following voluntary testing of the two nominated Clare players they were deemed to be negative but will still be isolating.

"At all times Clare GAA teams adhere to the guidelines laid down by the HSE and the governing body of our sport.

"Clare GAA will take on board at all times the advice and support provided by the health authorities.

"Clare GAA will endeavour to ensure the strictest management of health and safety during Covid and non-Covid times for all Clare GAA teams and request that the clubs of the county do likewise as we now move into the playing season at levels.

"Clare GAA would like to wish the Wexford players a speedy recovery and finally congratulations our senior footballers and hurlers on their league wins yesterday in Newbridge and Portlaoise."

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Brian Lohan Clare Covid-19 GAA Wexford