Kildare hurling boss Quaid hits out at former GAA president over ‘disparaging comments’

Joe Quaid hit out at former GAA president Liam O’Neill following Kildare’s victory over Westmeath on Sunday afternoon, saying comments made by the Laois native were disparaging to those playing hurling in Kildare. Quaid was embroiled in a debate with O’Neill on RTÉ radio on Saturday afternoon regarding the amount of funding that hurling in Kildare receives in comparison to other counties such as Westmeath, Carlow and Laois, and O’Neill appeared to imply that Kildare would need to improve before they were considered for the same level of funding as their neighbours.

That made the timing of Kildare’s victory over Westmeath all the more sweet for manager Quaid, and the Limerick native was quick to talk up the county’s hurling prospects following the win.

“I think Liam O’Neill alluded to the fact that today was a huge match for us and that if we were up there that we’d be considered for the funding, so I don’t mind whether they deliver it down to the board by cheque or cash during the week, I’m happy enough. That was the statement that was made yesterday; we need to be ‘up there’. It was a kind of disparaging statement in one sense, do you know that you’re not at that level yet. We are at that level, Kildare are at that level,” he said.

Quaid also aired his frustrations about the constant narrative surrounding Kildare hurling at present, with most national media column inches being filled by the topic of permit players lining out for the Lilywhites. Former All-Ireland winning Kilkenny hurler John Mulhall is the most high profile inclusion, while the Reidy brothers – David and Michael – also starred in the win over Westmeath. The Armagh management were less than subtle in their comments over the subject following Kildare’s victory in the Athletic Grounds last weekend, while it was also mentioned during the radio debate with O’Neill.

“People are giving out all week and there are a lot of bitter people, it was mentioned on the radio yesterday about the outside players. We have to have them outside players to get success. I think that Michael Ryan said it as well, you need success.

“I don’t want outside players playing for Kildare. But when Kildare players are not available or won’t play for Kildare; look at the bunch of lads that are in there. How many [outside players] did we start today? Three. There’s 12 other lads that came in there and there’s two or three other lads that came on and there’s other lads that are in the panel. Three fellas don’t win a match. These are the guys that want to win.”

“It’s pure bullshit on the likes of John Doran, Paul Dermody, Mark Moloney and Niall[Ó’Muineacháin], all these guys that have been here a long time. If they’re not on the team we can’t tog out with three fellas and beat Westmeath. Look, I don’t really care. We made the decision, the players made the decision. They came to us regarding it and we said we would,” said Quaid.