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Kyle Hayes (file photo). Evan Treacy/INPHO

Manager John Kiely on court support for Kyle Hayes: ‘It doesn’t mean I’m condoning what happened’

The Limerick manager spoke at a Munster championship launch today in Tipperary.

LIMERICK HURLING MANAGER John Kiely has reiterated that he does not condone the actions of his player Kyle Hayes, who received fully suspended two-year sentences yesterday for violent disorder offences, despite giving a character reference in court in January for the All-Ireland winning player.

Kiely at the time had asked a judge not to jail Hayes following his conviction for violent disorder, pleading for Hayes to be given ‘a second chance’.

Speaking today in Cahir in Tipperary at the launch of the Munster senior championship, Kiely said he attended court in January to support his player but was not condoning what happened.

“I think my presence, I wouldn’t have gone there unless I wanted to show him that I was there to support him but also that it doesn’t mean I’m condoning what happened at all, quite the contrary. Listen, it’s over, it has been dealt with by the courts, we move on

“I’m glad that it has come to an end. Very much looking towards the future now. I know Kyle is looking towards the future as well and pushing on. That’s it really. Just glad that it has come to a conclusion.

“Listen, none of this is easy for anybody and you’d rather not be in that situation. These challenges are obviously there for everybody involved. But ultimately it’s down to the individuals who are directly involved. For all their sakes, I’m sure they’re glad that this part of it has come to a close.”

john-kiely Limerick manager John Kiely (file photo). Evan Logan / INPHO Evan Logan / INPHO / INPHO

Hayes has played only once in the 2024 season to date for the All-Ireland champions in a league game in February against Dublin in Croke Park.

He will not play in this Saturday’s hurling league semi-final due to an ankle injury.

Kiely was asked about what frame of mind Hayes was in following his conviction and being ordered to pay the victim Cillian McCarthy €10,000 in compensation for injuries and loss of earnings due to these injuries.

“Kyle has trained really well over the last number of months. He has a bit of an ankle injury at the moment. He’s very much enjoying his hurling in the last couple of months but obviously there’s a challenge there when you pick up injuries in terms of trying to get back to a position where you’re finding improvements.

“For every player who picks up an injury, and we have quite a few injured at the moment, at this time of year you’d rather be training because you want to be getting stronger, you want to be getting sharper and you want to be involved. You don’t want to be inside in the gym or on a physio table so all the lads that are injured at the moment are very anxious to get back on the training field.”

Kiely was later asked in the same media interview, what would he say to any Limerick fans who might have worries about Hayes playing for the rest of the year, but declined to answer.

“I’m not going to pass any more comment, lads, sorry.”

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