Tracey Kennedy: No ulterior motive in Diarmuid O'Donovan  leaving his post 

Tracey Kennedy: No ulterior motive in Diarmuid O'Donovan  leaving his post 
REPRO FREE 16.01.2014 Pearse Murphy, Treasurer, Michael Keane, Referee Administrator, Ger Lane, Chairman, Tracey Kennedy, Vice Chairman and Diarmuid O'Donovan, Senior Administrator at the Cork GAA Board's Dinner and Medal Presentation function for referees who officiated at the 2014 County Finals. /Picture: Mike English.

Páirc Uí Rinn is likely to be used for Cork’s remaining home national hurling and football league ties.

At last night’s county board meeting at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the issue of the stadium’s pitch was addressed by county chairperson Tracey Kennedy, who said there was a serious structural issue.

“We didn’t realise how bad it was,” she said, “the irony is that a report landed on the Monday, if it had come to us on the Friday then the games wouldn’t have been played.

“A number of people looked at the pitch and the groundstaff, led by Stephen Forrest, have done great work. Our concerns were weather-related rather than anything else.

“There’s a conference-call meeting of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh board tomorrow [Wednesday] and a decision will be made then on when the work should take place. 

"At this stage, it’s likely that the remainder of our home league games will be in Páirc Uí Rinn.”

Earlier in the meeting, there had been a long discussion on the settlement reached between the board and former administrator Diarmuid O’Donovan.

County secretary Kevin O’Donovan read a statement outlining the chain of events that led to O’Donovan leaving his post on January 30. 

Having been offered redundancy, O’Donovan had sought a court injunction to prevent himself being removed from the role before negotiations led to a settlement.

“The proposed redundancy was not intended to impugn the performance of Diarmuid O’Donovan, the role always intended to conclude with the retirement of Frank Murphy as county secretary,” Kennedy said.

“I would like to place on record the board’s thanks to Diarmuid O’Donovan and wish him all the best.” St Nicholas delegate Jerry Howe felt the way the matter was dealt with left a lot to be desired.

“Diarmuid O’Donovan was summoned to a meeting and presented with termination, a derisory settlement,” he said. 

“He was told that if he didn’t accept it before the executive meeting, that payment would be withdrawn.

“If you push someone into a corner, they will go the legal route. 

"The board has incurred a lot of legal costs that could have been easily avoided.” 

Other delegates agreed, but Kennedy insisted that there were no ulterior motives.

“We acted in good faith and sought advice, we didn’t want it to develop as it did,” she said. 

“The advice received was that the employee should have been consulted before anyone else and that letter outlining the advice is available for clubs to see if they wish to request it.” 

John O’Flynn (Freemount) complimented the chairperson and secretary on their openness.

“I questioned in 2017 if we needed a secretary and an administrator,” he said.

“Everyone’s asking about procedure, but the surprising element in this is that it was taken straight to the High Court. 

"I’m disappointed with the reaction to the proposal, which I assume was fair.” 

Meanwhile, Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough), Maurice Moore (Carbery Rangers) and Pat Spratt (Buttevant) have been appointed as Cork U20 football selectors by new manager Keith Ricken.

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