Hurling & Camogie

John Kiely: Kyle Hayes focused on future with Limerick

Treaty boss backs Allstar half-back after he was spared jail sentence on Wednesday

Kyle Hayes of Limerick executes a pass during Sunday's All-Ireland SHC final at Croke Park Picture by Seamus Loughran
Kyle Hayes of Limerick executes a pass during Sunday's All-Ireland SHC final at Croke Park Picture by Seamus Loughran Kyle Hayes (right) was given a two-year suspended sentence and fined €10,000 for two incidents of violent disorder Picture: Seamus Loughran

John Kiely says Kyle Hayes is focused on his future with Limerick after avoiding a custodial sentence.

On Wednesday, the four-time Allstar hurler received a two-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay €10,000 in compensation for two incidents of violent disorder which left a young carpenter with serious facial injuries.

Kiely acted as a character witness during the Limerick Circuit Criminal Court trial, which he explained was to support Hayes rather than condone his actions.

“I’m glad that it has come to an end. Very much looking towards the future now,” said Kiely at a media launch event for the Munster Championship.

“I know Kyle is looking towards the future as well and pushing on. That’s it really. Just glad that it has come to a conclusion.”

Kiely was asked how difficult the situation was for the group and Hayes to manage since last December’s trial.

“Listen, none of this is easy for anybody and you’d rather not be in that situation.

“These challenges are obviously there for everybody involved but ultimately it’s down to the individuals who are directly involved.

“For all their sakes, I’m sure they’re glad that this part of it has come to a close.”

Limerick's John Kiely has navigated the team brilliantly this season Picture: Philip Walsh.
Kiely crop John Kiely acted as a character witness for Kyle Hayes during his trial at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court

On his appearance as a character witness, Kiely replied: “It’s not about me.

“I think my presence… I wouldn’t have gone there unless I wanted to show him that I was there to support him but also that it doesn’t mean I’m condoning what happened at all, quite the contrary.

“Listen, it’s over, it has been dealt with by the courts, we move on.”

Hayes won’t feature in Saturday’s League semi-final against Kilkenny due to an ankle injury which has already ruled him out of Limerick’s games against Tipperary and Galway.

His frame of mind to continue his hurling career remains positive, Kiely said.

“Kyle has trained really well over the last number of months and is very much enjoying his hurling but obviously there’s a challenge there when you pick up injuries in terms of trying to get back to a position where you’re finding improvements.

“For every player who picks up an injury, and we have quite a few injured at the moment, at this time of year you’d rather be training because you want to be getting stronger, you want to be getting sharper, and you want to be involved.

“You don’t want to be inside in the gym or on a physio table so all the lads that are injured at the moment are very anxious to get back on the training field.”

Darragh O’Donovan, Dan Morrissey, Mike Casey, Fergal O’Connor, and Colin Coughlan are also ruled out of Saturday’s game due to injuries but are expected to recover in time for the Munster Championship.