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'The stuff that was being said was ridiculous. It's players' personal lives and families that are being hurt'

Padraic Maher has also been speaking about the departure of his “good friend” Cathal Barrett from the squad.

EVER SINCE THEIR Division 1 league semi-final hammering of Wexford, Tipperary’s season has derailed in spectacular fashion.

The heavy final loss to Galway ended their league campaign on a sour note, while the defeat to a resurgent Cork in the Munster quarter-final was equally surprising.

But things would get far worse. Cathal Barrett’s forced departure from the squad for disciplinary issues rocked the entire county.

GAA/GPA in partnership with Pat the Baker announce the launch of a new Protein Bread Padraic Maher was in Croke Park at the launch of Pat the Baker's new Protein Bread Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Then some vicious rumours were spread about two players on social media, which left us with a layer of grime that we’ll never quite scrub away.

“It’s been a very, very bad week just in general for society from a moral point of view,” former Offaly hurler Michael Duignan told RTÉ Radio 1 last week.

“The rumour that has gone around about some of those Tipperary players and some of their families etc. has been absolutely disgusting in my point of view,” he added. “It’s horrific.”

Taking criticism after suffering a defeat is one thing, but then things got personal and nasty.

Speaking about the events of the last week, Tipperary skipper Padraic Maher admitted some of the nonsense being spouted was “ridiculous.”

“Don’t ask me where it comes out of or who starts it,” he said today. “We were as much shocked as anyone else to see all of this.

“We’re just going out there to try to represent Tipperary as best as we can and people writing this stuff about you. At the end of the day lads have personal lives, families, jobs to go to every day.

“It does affect some players. The stuff that was being said was ridiculous. It’s players’ personal lives and families that are being hurt here, not their hurling. When it comes to that, it’s just ridiculous carry-on.

“Us as players we’re just moving forward, but the more you hear the more you wonder why are people even doing this.

Padraic Maher Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“We’ll put everything else on the back-burner, because if we’re going to let stuff that’s not real affect us, then we’re not going to be going anywhere.

“What way is that affecting their lives? Look, it’s not nice. People shouldn’t have to deal with that in inter-county hurling or anywhere.

“At the end of the day the way it’s gone now we’re just trying to laugh it all off in the dressing-room about it. We just want to move forward now and look forward to the qualifiers.”

Barrett’s dismissal from the squad is a major blow, but it’s believed Michael Ryan hasn’t closed the door completely on a potential return in the future.

“For us, look, Cathal is still a good friend of ours,” added Maher. “He could still be back, we don’t know what the story is to be honest because it’s a decision between player and manager.

“We respect the decision, he’s not part of the panel at the moment, and we move on. Look, up to a couple of weeks ago people were lauding the back-up we have coming off the bench and the competitive nature within the squad.

“Now is the perfect opportunity for someone to step in and show they can take up his mantle.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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