Thursday 17 August 2017

'I've completely moved on' - Aidan O'Shea takes issue over ex-Mayo managers' claims

Mayo star insists he will deal with Holmes-Connelly comments - but not now

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Mayo star Aidan O'Shea has disputed the controversial claims of the county's former joint managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly.

While O'Shea yesterday insisted that it was "not the time or place" for him to outline his specific grievances with the comments of the 2015 joint managers, he did say that he would tackle the specifics at some stage in the future.

Last December, Holmes and Connelly broke their silence in an exclusive interview in the Irish Independent on the series of events that led to their contentious departure on the back of a players' request to do so after just one year in charge.

O'Shea was one of the players about which specific issues were raised during the course of the interview, chiefly around his involvement in the 'Toughest Trade' campaign when a link-up with Sunderland AFC was pulled, according to Holmes, because the season had already started.

The former managers said in the interview that O'Shea contacted them to complain about their objections to his participation in the series.

Email correspondence between O'Shea and the management over the release of a player from a match-day squad was also referenced.

The player also said he took issue with this newspaper's presentation of the interview, claiming he should have been given a right of reply with the publication of the article.

"It's not something I dwell on - I've completely moved on myself personally and the group have completely moved forward."

On the weekend that the interview was published, a Mayo media official made it clear in a response to a query from this newspaper that none of the players would be responding.

Speaking yesterday at a media event to launch AIB's partnership with the GAA in sponsoring the Football Championship, he said the words of Holmes and Connelly would not "haunt" them or be used as extra motivation.

"I wouldn't say haunt - it's not a word I would use. I think Mayo people, the support hasn't wavered in what we have done.

"We're trying to do something that is bigger than an interview in a dull week in December. We're trying to win an All-Ireland for lots of reasons but that's not one of them."

O'Shea believes Mayo's preparations, ahead of their Connacht Championship campaign, are better than they were this time last year when they were ambushed by Galway.

Irish Independent

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