We knew there'd be a backlash against Joe Canning's
casually-made comments damning indictment of Henry Shefflin and they've come from Kilkenny legend Eddie Keher. But Eddie sees some bigger forces at work here conspiring against Kilkenny than merely one Joseph Canning and his Galway teammates. If you follow his argument the whole way through, Irish society as a whole and its culture of begrudgery is trying to hold back the greatest team of all time.
"I think that’s a very disappointing comment to make about probably one of the greatest hurlers to ever play the game, and a thorough gentleman at that.
"We’d hate in Kilkenny to have someone of the stature of Joe Canning making a remark like that."
"How would Henry influence a referee? Everyone is getting at Kilkenny for the last while, trying to turn everything against us.
“We know everyone outside Kilkenny would like to see us beaten but all this talk of influencing referees. What way did we influence the referee against Tipperary?
"Fellas from Kilkenny get belted and just get up, get on with the game and that’s the kind of manly behaviour I like to see in hurling. Don’t be lying down looking for the free or for fellas to be carded.
“It’s very irritating and it happened last Sunday, [Galway] fellas diving a bit when Kilkenny were getting on a roll and the medics coming in, to try to slow the game down. There was a lot of that kind of thing going on.
"It’s not just anti-Kilkenny, it’s a societal problem.
"I’m disappointed. I would have thought we have the greatest team and the greatest hurlers of all time but now people are getting at them. Tommy Walsh, Henry Shefflin - it’s sort of an Irish thing; if someone is very good at what they do, let’s all pull them down."