Former Clare under-21 star Davy O'Halloran has spoken of his humiliating punishment at the hands of Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald today and went into detail about the circumstances of him and Nicky O'Connell leaving the Clare panel.
Speaking to the Irish Times, O'Halloran claimed he and O'Connell were disciplined for being out two nights before a league game despite the fact they were not drinking alcohol and that another senior member of the panel admitted to drinking before a game yet he did not receive any punishment. O'Halloran also said he was suffering from a hamstring injury anyway and wasn't available for the game.
The punishment detailed by O'Halloran is extreme to put it mildly. For what was to be a three week period, he was not allowed any access to the dressing rooms, he had to tog out separately from the team, he had to train alone, no communication between him and his teammates was allowed and he wasn't allowed wear any of the team's gear. O'Halloran was also prevented from travelling to any games.
Both O'Halloran and O'Connell decided to leave the panel after enduring some of this treatment and wrote a letter explaining their decision to the rest of the panel, O'Halloran claims Fitzgerald tore up this letter in front of the squad. He spoke of what he felt was the general feeling in the camp:
A lot of the lads aren’t happy, see lads are too scared to stand up to him.
I just didn’t see myself being there knowing that I was getting treated differently to another player – and if we were running around a pitch for three weeks we would have missed the whole league campaign and we wouldn’t have had much of a hope of making it into a championship team