On Tuesday, the Kerry Ladies Gaelic Football Association announced that there would be a change of management for their minor team with immediate effect. The timing of the decision was particularly strange - it was made less than a week before Kerry's opening game of the Munster championship. Kerry play Tipperary in Brosna on Sunday.
A statement from the Kerry LGFA, released via Radio Kerry, explained the reason for the decision:
at a meeting of the county board executive, it was decided the present and future aims of the KLGFA and the current minor management team were not aligned. They subsequently decided for a change of management, with immediate effect.
Jonathan Griffin had been the man in charge of the team. Griffin, from Glenbeigh, was ratified as manager on a two-year term in January of last year. This was due to be his second season in charge.
In correspondence with Balls, Griffin confirmed that he was informed of his removal from the role by email. He also said that he intends to appeal the decision to the "relevant LGFA authorities". Griffin believes the decision is not representative of all members of the Kerry LGFA executive.
Griffin added that he would like "to thank all the Kerry Minor Ladies players and parents for their full support".
On Twitter earlier this week, in response to the Kerry LGFA statement, Griffin wrote: "They never met with me or my management team to know our views! Players, parents and coaches have put in eight months of work!"
The treatment of the management team has been the subject of criticism in Kerry. Liam Brosnan, the manager of the IT Tralee Sigerson Cup team, wrote on Twitter: "Don’t know the ends and outs of what’s happening in the Kerry ladies top table but that’s not the way to treat management and especially players of the Kerry minor ladies deserve better."
Former Kerry ladies manager and TG4 analyst Robbie Ó Grifín said: "Shocking decision by some members of executive one week before Championship, what’s next by these who continue to drag down ladies football in Kerry, once again genuine players who give their all for the jersey the victims."
Donal Barry, former Chairperson of Kerry ladies football, wrote: "Really disturbing behavior that a group of less than six people can ‘terminate’ a manager by email six days ahead of the opening championship without it being discussed by club delegates - Sadly it’s a reason why Ladies Football in Kerry is very much back in the dark ages."
According to Radio Kerry, ladies senior manager Graham Shine has been put in temporary charge of the Kerry minors.
Members of the Kerry ladies executive, including chairman Mike Moriarty and secretary Maurice Dunworth, were contacted by Balls for comment on the situation but no response was forthcoming.