"Both Clare players tested negative. They were disrupted all week. They're the victims in all of this."
When it comes to the Covid free-for-all that has Clare and Wexford staring each other down, a whole host of explanations, statements and accusations just aren't adding up.
Clare are saying that two of their players were identified by Wexford as close contacts of a Covid case. Wexford are saying that they did not identify anybody.
"The only people that decide whether you’re a close contact or not is public health and the HSE," is the Wexford line, as told by their chairman Micheal Martin on south-east radio this Monday morning.
If Martin's statement is to be taken as fact, it means that a HSE worker hasn't just watched the Wexford-Clare game in Cusack Park last weekend but they have studied it. Studied it to the extent that they discovered which two Clare players were marking the pair of infected Wexford players.
For such an investigation to be commissioned seems scarcely believable, as you would imagine that the pair's Wexford teammates, having stayed overnight in Clare leading up to the game, would have been more of a worry. Yet no Wexford player has been deemed a close contact.
Speaking on Monday's GAA Hour Show, Colm Parkinson and Paul Murphy went through the nuts and bolts of a Covid sandstorm that has left many squinting at the sky.
"How the hell did the HSE find out how these Clare players were? Like was a HSE person in the stands in the Cusack Park seeing who was marking who? How do you believe that?" begins Parkinson.
"How did the get these two Clare players names? Why were they deemed as close contacts and how the hell has this mess happened?"
"Certainly there was a whole lot of anger amongst our set-up"
Clare manager Brian Lohan speaks about the circumstances that led to two of his players being unavailable for selection after being deemed "close contacts" of Wexford players: https://t.co/lqMuWaG9Hu #RTEGAA pic.twitter.com/bjCFKmXAax
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 23, 2021
"The big question is where did the names come from," adds Paul Murphy.
"I seen Brian Lohan on League Sunday and I thought fair play to him do you know, he was very restrained with what he said even though it would have been very easy to come out and say things on Sunday that'll be taken back on Tuesday! I have sympathy for Clare because they did everything they were supposed to do. You'd have to presume the names were given to the HSE from the Wexford camp..."
What's being forgotten through it all is that these Clare 'close contacts' have missed a week of work, they have missed a game of hurling and they have experienced a week that none of us would wish to experience.
"Both Clare players tested negative. They were disrupted all week. They're the victims in all of this," added Wooly.
"I'm sure the chaps couldn't go to work or whatever they were doing in their own private lives, and they couldn't play the game. So this was outrageous as far as I'm concerned because opposition players are not close contacts. Your own teammates aren't even close contacts unless you travel to training with them. It's a mess up from the HSE as well because when they get those two names, they should read what the close contacts are defined as and say, hang on, you're only marking them out in the fresh air."
- Limerick's indiscipline
- Questions to be answered over Wexford Covid debacle
- Conor Prunty is lording it
- Cork hotshot has that special something
- Why Bonner Maher is so admired@Woolberto and @PaulMurphykk on the job for the Hurling Show 👊 🎧👇https://t.co/shzsKDzduV pic.twitter.com/6lRW40UZCn
— The GAA Hour (@TheGAAHour) May 24, 2021
"No Wexford player was deemed a close contact of these players. Wexford stayed down the night before. They travelled together, they were in huddles together and not one of their teammates was nominated...now Wexford are saying they didn't nominate anyone so what is going on?"
"There has to be an investigation to find out what's happened because what Clare are saying and what Wexford are saying aren't adding up so what's the truth in this?"
This controversy has legs yet.