Davy Fitzgerald (Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson)
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Davy Fitzgerald has said he’s prepared to end his feud with Brian Lohan, as he once again rounded on critics of him and his father in Clare.
Fitzgerald gave an emotional address to the media following his Wexford side’s defeat to his native Clare in the All-Ireland qualifiers which brought the curtain down on his fifth season at the helm.
Having completed the two-year extension that he received in 2019, many expect Fitzgerald to now vacate the Wexford role but, after speaking for more than four minutes continuously, he wound up the post-match press briefing without affording the opportunity for follow-up questions.
Fitzgerald has previously spoken about online abuse that his father, Pat, the Clare county board secretary, has been subjected to, a matter that has been referred to the Gardai.
GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Qualifier Round 1, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Tipperary 17/7/2021 Clare vs Wexford Clare's Aidan McCarthy with Connal Flood of Wexford Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
He said: “I’ve experienced the toughest year that I’ve ever experienced in GAA. The way myself and my family have been treated is an absolute and utter disgrace.
“The way I felt all week, I didn’t even know if I wanted to come into this game to tell you the truth.
“I’ll put it to you like this – in Clare, the biggest problem we have is a small bunch of people that create problems.
“They think they’re helping and they’re not and I’m going to put it to you like this – very, very, very simply – I’m a simple person that loves GAA.
“I think I’m one of the most ever played for Clare GAA. My dad, who I’m extremely proud of, has done an unbelievable job. The amount of abuse and stick and criticism that he has taken, unwarranted, is not – not! – justified.
“And can I say to people, people have brothers and sisters, mams and dads. People have people that actually care about them and what people in the media in Clare have done is absolutely disgusting. What people on social media have done is disgusting.
“What one or two people – one or two clubs – have done, instead of looking at themselves and how they can make their teams better, they have tried to pull us into a place that we don’t need to be.
“The amount of support I have got from within 90% of Clare clubs is absolutely incredible. It is only the few who need to stop, need to stop, and need to work together.”
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Referencing his feud with former teammate and Clare manager Lohan, Fitzgerald continued: “People said to me, would you ever talk to Brian Lohan or any of this. I'll tell you straight out, for the sake of Clare, 110% if someone got a meeting between me and Brian Lohan in the morning, I'd do it.
“I mightn't like Brian Lohan and mightn't have much time for him and the way he does stuff. He'd have the same for me. But we shouldn't be at each other in Clare.
“If Clare are to succeed, they all need to be together. And I am saying it straight now, would I put it to bed? I'd stand up in the morning and I would go and talk to anyone, shake hands, and I'd put it to bed.
“I don't want Clare to be fighting with each other. We need to have a good hard look at ourselves in Clare and stop that.”
Referring to Clare minors’ 40-point defeat to Cork earlier in the week, Fitzgerald said: “The first thing they'll do is blame the county board for stuff. Easy target again. We need to stop that.
“I can see people that can get on keyboards and do stuff, have they ever gone down the field, have they ever worked with their clubs, have they ever done stuff. We need to get a grip in Clare and we need to work together.”
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