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‘No truth’ in McDonald rumours says Mayo GAA chief


STICKING TOGETHER Mayo manager James Horan is pictured with Ciaran McDonald. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Finnerty

THERE is ‘no truth’ to rumours that Ciaran McDonald and James Burke have stepped down from James Horan’s management team, according to Mayo GAA chairman Liam Moffatt.
Speaking at last night’s (Thursday’s) monthly meeting of the County Board in Castlebar, Moffatt quashed speculation that had been circulating in the days after Mayo’s defeat to Tyrone in the All-Ireland Final.
He was responding to a question from Mattie Joe Connolly of Garrymore GAA club, who asked, ‘what the situation was?’
“Nobody has stepped down from anything,” said Moffatt. “Everything will be clarified after the [end of season] review [with James Horan and the rest of Mayo’s coaching team]. We obviously have to give people time to come down from the season that they had.
“There’s no truth in the rumour that anybody is stepping down.
“Questions have to be asked, where have these rumours come from?” added the chairman.
“They certainly didn’t come from the County Board or the backroom team. I’m not sure where these rumours came from but we’re clarifying now, there’s no truth to that.”
County Board secretary Dermot Butler also described some social media commentary about Mayo’s players and management in the wake of the All-Ireland loss as ‘absolutely disgusting’.
“Some people feel they have a divine right to post comments about players and management, and they think that’s okay. I find it absolutely disgusting that these very same people that were ringing me, begging me for tickets in the week leading up to the final, and telling me what great supporters they were, can turn on our county players like that.
“It just baffles me,” he said.
“As soon as the match was over, ‘McDonald and James Burke are gone’. ‘Horan has to go’. ‘Bring in Jim Gavin’. “Will we ever cop on to ourselves in this county?
“Some of the comments that went up on social media were absolutely appalling.
“These are amateur players that give up a lot of their family time to bring us on the crest of a wave for the last 10 or 12 years. And for some of them to be treated like that, I find it absolutely disgusting.”

Review with James Horan
MEANWHILE, all Mayo GAA clubs have been given an opportunity to submit questions for James Horan ahead of his end of season review meeting with senior County Board officials next month.
Last night’s meeting spent 45 minutes discussing the fall-out from the All-Ireland with 14 different club delegates and County Board officials speaking on the subject.
It was decided at the end of the discussion that all clubs would be given a deadline of 6pm next Friday evening to submit their questions for the Mayo manager.
These questions will form part of the review discussions with Mayo GAA chiefs.
“We all understand how much hope and expectation there was for the All-Ireland Final, and realise that everybody is extremely disappointed,” explained Liam Moffatt.
“A review will take place between the senior officers of the board and all of the senior coaching team where aspects of preparation and performance will be reviewed.
“The review will take place within the next two weeks and updates will follow.
“The timing is deliberate to give a break to all involved. It allows everyone involved to process and verbalise their thoughts, and we did not want to proceed with a review without hearing clubs' thoughts on the matter.
“What will be in the review will be all aspects of performance,” he continued.
“You’re looking at an open and honest discussion on the technical, tactical, psychological and physical sides of it. Those four pillars encompass nearly everything.
“Obviously logistics will be discussed; is there learnings for the County Board in terms of supporting the players and management? Is there learnings for the management team?
“Those questions will be asked, and constructive criticism and constructive feedback from clubs is welcomed. We want to find solutions.”

YOU can read a full report on Thursday night’s Mayo GAA Board meeting in Tuesday’s edition of The Mayo News

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