HAVING QUESTIONED THE commitment of Offaly footballers and received stinging criticism from their coach Tom Cribbin, ex-Offaly hurler Michael Duignan partially apologised for his remarks last night, saying that he was misguided in “tarring all the footballers with the one brush”.
Duigan, however, remained critical of Cribbin, accusing him of having his “head in the sand” when it came to the issue of player discipline.
However, despite the sweeping nature of his original statement, Duignan insisted “the general tone” of what he said was true, but exempted certain players from blame.
Speaking to RTÉ radio, he said: “The likes of Niall McNamee, the captain, the Darbys from Rhode, Anton Sullivan, Karol Slattery, Scott Brady and Ciarán McManus, who has played for Offaly for the last 16 years and has travelled from all over Europe to training sessions.
“These guys and their families are rightly annoyed with me but at the same time I’m prepared to stand over the general tone of what I said.”
He also expressed hope that the Offaly players would ”go out and prove me wrong”.
Duignan added that several ex-players supported the general tone of his comments, claiming that one “high-profile player” went so far as to apologise for not speaking out himself on the issue.
When contacted by the Irish Independent, one such ex-player, Colm Quinn, said Duignan was correct in stating that there were problems with player discipline, but added that he “wouldn’t have agreed with him entirely”.