Laois GAA will begin the search for a new manager this week after Tomás O Flatharta was relieved of his duties.
The Kerryman stepped down last Tuesday in the wake of the loss to Antrim, with the County Executive feeling his position was untenable after losing a nine point lead at home to the Division 4 side.
Speaking to RTE Radio on Sunday, O Flatharta hinted that the players wanted him to stay on as manager, but their opinions were ignored by Laois GAA. “Whether their (the players) voice was listened to, or whether it was ignored in this situation, it was probably more of the latter, but it’s not a place for me to decide how much value their voice gets in these situations.”
Laois GAA Chairman Gerry Kavanagh revealed to the Leinster Express yesterday, however, that the loss to Antrim convinced the county executive to end his tenure.
“I don’t know where he is drawing that conclusion from (regarding the players), you would have to ask him. It wasn’t a matter for the players, the management and executive of the Laois County Board made the decision.
“He had lost the support of the executive, the Antrim result was a bridge too far and it was felt his position had become untenable.”
In his statement released last week, O Flatharta said. “I have enjoyed immensely my two years with the county and will look back on my time with fondness for the progress that we have made during that time.
“However I will look back on the last few weekends with a huge sense of ‘what might have been’ but ultimately the buck stops with me and I take responsibility for that.”
Laois won only three games in 2015, against Roscommon and Galway in the league, and against Carlow in the championship, while they suffered a first round exit in the Qualifiers for the first time since 2010. The loss to Antrim was the second time his side lost at home to a Division 4 team in the Qualifiers as well.
Gerry Kavanagh also revealed that a committee to appoint a replacement for O Flatharta was due to be appointed last night (Monday), and ideally, someone would be in time to see some, if not all, of the local championships, which begin in early August.