Gerald McCarthy cut a hunted figure after Sunday’s anticipated NHL defeat by Dublin at a practically-empty Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The previous morning as ‘Love Your County’ protestors prepared to call for his head, the Cork manager crossed swords with Dónal Óg Cusack on Marian Finucane’s RTÉ Radio One programme. McCarthy was explaining his stance when the Rebel-rousing ‘keeper rang in to take issue with his version of the squalid series of events, and especially the suggestion that the row was borne of a professionalism “agenda”. That afternoon 12,000-or-so strike supporters took to the streets to demand that the 2008 panel get their way.
Gerald put a brave face on his side’s display against the Dubs, saying he was proud of the players who’d put on the red shirt.
Of the mere 2,000 attendance, “It’s not easy for fans to be forking out €15 for a national league game,” he reasoned. That five times as many were able to rally in the city centre 24 hours before was more worrying
“If we end up in Division Two out of this, at least we’ll have fought to get there,” McCarthy added. Fought being the operative word.
As I’ve said before, Frank Murphy’s silence in all of this has been not so much deafening as sickening. GAA headquarters have washed their hands of it too, which is an utter abdication of responsibility. Gerald McCarthy, an essentially decent man but in way over his head in a mire, not all of his making, is being hung out to dry by Murphy in particular and it’s a sense of shame that, by their submissiveness, the Association as a whole should share.