THE DECISION OF Cork hurling boss Denis Walsh to ruthlessly drop Sean Óg Ó hAilpín has garnered more criticism on Leeside.
Former Rebel football captain Joe Kavanagh has questioned the decision of to draw the curtain on the wing-back’s glittering career in blood and bandages.
Ó hAilpín gave 15 seasons of service to Cork at senior level, in a career that yielded three All-Ireland titles, five Munster Championships and a National League.
He also earned three All Star awards and was named Hurler of the Year in 2004 as he captained his county to All-Ireland glory.
The Fijian-born wing-back was informed by Denis Walsh back in October that his services were no longer required, but O hAilpin will continue to line out for his club, Na Piarsaigh.
Ó hAilpín also played senior football with Cork for three seasons, lining out in the 1999 All-Ireland final which Cork lost to Meath.
Joe Kavanagh, who also played in that final for the Rebels, told RedFM in a documentary about Ó hAilpín to be broadcast this weekend: “I know time waits for no man and Denis Walsh obviously has his reasons, but a guy like Sean Óg would be invaluable to the set-up.
With the experience he could still bring to the panel, even in a 10 or 15-minute role towards the end of a game, that would be a great asset.
You can imagine the reaction of the Cork crowd up in Thurles if Sean Óg was brought on during a big Championship game.
“Even with the younger fellas on the panel in mind, I think there’s still a role for him on the panel. But that’s Denis Walsh’s decision and he’s the manager, so it needs to be respected.
“But Sean Óg was always a guy who looked after himself well and he could go on and play for another three or four years if he wanted to.”
- Joe Kavanagh was speaking on ‘The Magnificent 7′, an hour-long tribute to Sean Óg Ó hAilpín which will be aired on the Big Red Bench this Saturday evening at 6pm on Cork’s RedFM 104-106.
Listen to Joe Deane, Larry Tompkins, Micheal O Muircheartaigh, Jamesie O’Connor and John Allen from Cork’s Red FM’s play tribute to Sean Óg Ó hAilpín in their Magnificent Seven documentary.