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More Than A Decade On, Ó hAilpín Has Regrets About Cork Strikes

More Than A Decade On, Ó hAilpín Has Regrets About Cork Strikes

Seán Óg Ó hAilpín still holds regrets regarding the outcomes of the Cork hurling panel's strikes during the 2000s.

The players' first strike was in 2002 over welfare and rights. Manager Bertie Óg Murphy stepped down as a result while in 2009, Gerald McCarthy stepped down as manager.

"When I start looking in reflection, that is one thing I do regret, the casualties and the fact that people had to step down," Ó hAilpín said in an interview on The Sunday Game.

"After that, the players got the demands that they were looking for. I don't think that strike would have been so highlighted if we didn't win; if we didn't back that up with the '04 and '05 wins, we would have been the laughing stock of the nation. At least those actions were justified.

"It was bad enough going through one, then there was another one in 2007, which involved the hurlers and footballers. Life would have been much easier if we'd stopped at that.

"Then, there was the worst one which was in '09. Probably, that's the one where there's still aftermath to this day. The biggest casualty out of that was Gerald McCarthy - probably one of, if not the greatest Cork great, having to step down."

Cork's 2008 hurling panel refused to play under McCarthy. He resigned in March 2009.

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"That's 12 years on and there's not a day goes by when I don't think back to then and what could have been done differently," continued the 2005 All-Ireland winning Cork captain.

"There's certain actions that in hindsight... I can't speak for other players at that time but I know that I would have said some stuff that in proper reflection that I was best to just keep my mouth shut.

"My view is that you had one party, the playing group, who were looking to go one way, and you soon realise that the biggest power broker in that situation is the county board. They didn't want to go that way with us. They had their own ways about how the association should be run.

"We were just going two poles apart completely. When you have two camps entrenched in their own beliefs, it was only going to lead to ringside tickets in Las Vegas. The aftermath was filthy, callous and cold."

Ó hAilpín is now part of the Cork minor hurling management team under Donal ÓG Cusack.

"That was a brave move by the county board to appoint Donal Óg as the minor manager," said Ó hAilpín.

"We would have been seen as the two most militant people during that time. The fact the board have brought us in is some sign that they want things to move on and get Cork back to winning ways."

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

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