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Mayo GAA PRO calls out ‘crackpots’


SPEAKING HIS MIND Mayo GAA PRO Paul Cunnane addresses delegates during Sunday's annual County Convention. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

PRO Report

Ger Flangan

MAYO GAA PRO Paul Cunnane has slammed ‘crackpots’ on social media for some of the personal abuse aimed at him and fellow County Board officers recently.
In his report to Sunday’s Mayo GAA Convention, Cunnane also said that he would not accept anybody calling him ‘a liar’ or saying ‘I am not involved for the good of Mayo GAA,which has happened to me in recent weeks’.
The Davitts clubman, who was re-elected after a contest for the position with Michael Gallagher of Ballycroy GAA club, was in the headlines recently in relation to the ongoing dispute between Mayo GAA and the Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation.
“Traditional media and social media had had plenty to say about Mayo GAA in 2019, some of it good, some of it not so good,” Cunnane said. “I mentioned last year that social media was not a particularly nice place for Mayo GAA. Well, you can double that and more for 2019, some of the problems are self-inflicted and some are not.
“Personally, I have no problem with social media, I use it seven days a week, every week of the year. It is a huge benefit to Mayo GAA and will continue to be in the future.
“The problems are the ‘crack pots’ with opinions who think every player, every officer and anyone else involved in Mayo GAA is fair game for personal abuse. No we are not. For every day in Croke Park with the senior team there are 364 others of meetings, training sessions, e-mails, phone calls and numerous other tasks that have to be done.
“I am on the record as saying in the past that I can take criticism from anyone. Supporters who pay their money are well entitled to criticise me or anyone else. What they are not entitled to do is abuse me personally on social media or anywhere else.
“I will not accept anyone calling me a liar or saying I am not involved for the good of Mayo GAA, which has happened to me in recent weeks.
“I am involved because I want to do it and because I enjoy it. I know I made mistakes in 2019, as I did every other year I’ve been in this role.
“However, I am big enough to put my hand up and acknowledge it, maybe a few more people could look in the mirror and do the same. Maybe those who think they always have the answers should stop and think for a second before lashing out at players and officials, maybe they could put their hand up and offer to help instead of continuing to hurl abuse. ‘The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.’
The 36 year-old, who works as a Logistics Manager with PEL Waste Reduction Equipment, also singled out one media outlet for special mention.
“Local and national media in the main do a fine job reporting the ins and outs of Mayo GAA games and activities, however from time to time some stick the big boot unnecessarily,” he said.
“There were a number of instances this year where print media went way over the top in relation to our senior football team. Instead of doing their job and analysing the games the team play they decided to have a go at the players or the management team — which is totally uncalled for and more importantly without fact.
“One outlet even printed injury updates that had no truth whatsoever. At no point did they pick up the phone to me to confirm if the injuries were true or not, they decided what they saw was 100% correct and ran went it.
“I thought any journalist worth their salt would check their facts before printing any story but that does not seem to be the case anymore.”

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