Offaly’s relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup for next year has saddened Sean Og O’hAilpin and he likened it to Italy not being part of this year’s World Cup.
The former Cork hurler was speaking on this week’s Super8s podcast. He questioned how this situation had come about and what was the county board’s role in all of it: “Anyone that has followed Offaly or followed hurling, jeez to see Offaly go down. That’s like Italy not making this year’s World Cup. it doesn’t look right, it doesn’t feel right. Having said that I think it’s partially Offaly’s fault. The system has let them down. I think the real questions have to be asked by Offaly. How the hurling is organised in the county, how they’ve gone so far off the radar.”
O’hAilpin is one of a number of pundits who have spoken about their disappointment in the new hurling structure which has led to Offaly’s relegation. He said: “I’m like everyone else especially in the hurling community, it saddens me to see Offaly go down. Ger Loughnane doesn’t seem to have any pity on them. He seems to be the only fella in Ireland that doesn’t have any.”
The Corkman is critical of the fact relegation is only in the Leinster Championship and not the Munster Championship. He believes if it’s in one, it should be in the other: “This is a county that was feared by everyone. The format, I find it very cruel or harsh. It’s only applied to Leinster, the same is not applicable to Munster teams where there is no relegation for the Munster teams. If you are going to do it for the Leinster championship well the same should be mirrored for the Munster format as well. That hasn’t been done.”