John Kiely has dismissed accusations of Limerick gamesmanship as “absolutely crazy” and “utterly laughable”.
Kiely’s champions fell six points behind Galway in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final before goalkeeper Nickie Quaid was treated during a momentum-breaking pause. Whatever the correlation, they outscored Galway by 1-18 to 0-6 from that moment.
Opposition manager Henry Shefflin protested on the sideline during the stoppage while Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald said it wasn’t the first time this year that Limerick “chose their moment… to break up the play”.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we’re talking about this two days after two All-Ireland semi-finals,” said Kiely at a press event on Monday.
“It’s utterly laughable, to be quite honest with you. It’s unbelievable.
“Of course, it’s a focus that has been driven by a few individuals but I find it absolutely crazy that we’re talking about this two days after an All-Ireland semi-final.”
Kiely was asked if Quaid’s issue was related to contact lenses.
“I’m not privy to Nickie’s medical history,” he retorted.
“Can you imagine me going to Nickie, ‘What’s your sight like, Nickie?’ Would you seriously think I’d be doing such a thing like that? Absolutely not.
“Number one, I will highlight, who called in the doctor to Nickie? James Owens, the referee. So I’d say go and ask James Owens.
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“Why did James Owens (do that)? Because his umpire expressed concern to James Owens about Nickie, because Nickie wasn’t feeling well. That’s what happened. Fact.
“Obviously these people that are commenting online don’t know the facts so I think the facts are very important.”
Kiely was also forthright in his backing for women’s footballers and camogie players as they protest to demand minimum standards of care and welfare to be met.
He listed out areas such as having a doctor present at training to treat injuries, providing gym facilities to prevent injuries, supplying meals to allow players to recover after training, and allocating expenses to resource the elite level appropriately.
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“It's more having the will to do these things rather than the money or financial resources to do it,” he said, noting the availability of community-based gyms in villages, schools, and clubs across the country.
“We (Limerick) are certainly not spending any more money now than we did six years ago. We're just spending on the right things. And when we spend it, it's value.”
On his injured captain Declan Hannon, Kiely said he will have “milestones” to meet from this week onwards to prove his fitness for the final against Kilkenny.