Monday 5 December 2016

McEnaney refuses to strike back

Published 14/09/2011 | 05:00

Meath manager Seamus McEnaney has refused to respond to the hard-hitting letters from the two selectors who withdrew from his back-room team prior to this year's championship just as Graham Geraghty was being reintroduced to the squad in controversial circumstances.

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The two selectors, Liam Harnan and Barry Callaghan, broke their silence in the letters read out at Monday night's meeting to outline their version of events that led to their withdrawal at the time.

They delivered withering criticism of McEnaney's management and suggested that he was not listening to their counsel long before he took the decision to recall Geraghty.

But McEnaney said yesterday he was not interested in a public spat with the two former All-Ireland medal winners and was instead looking ahead to 2012 with his new selectors, assistant manager Tom Keague and former All-Ireland-winning captain Geraghty.

"I have nothing to say on the letters. I drew a line in the sand on the issue (Geraghty's return and the subsequent withdrawal of both men) quite quickly and I am not going to return to it now."

He did, however, welcome the appointment of Sean Boylan as a director of football for the county, though the name of Boylan's title may change in the near future to 'co-ordinator.'

"I would feel the appointment of Sean Boylan to such a role is a very positive move for Meath football and in the long term it will have a big impact," said McEnaney.

Boylan's appointment will be universally welcomed in the county and he could have strong influence in choosing the next Meath manager after a few traumatic years in the boardroom for the county.

Under his terms of reference he will have an involvement in setting out structures for all the mainstream teams.

The meeting on Monday night was not short of heated debate but it stopped short of any attempt to have McEnaney removed or his new management team rebuffed. Meath's Central Council delegate Brendan Cummins was one of the more vocal delegates to voice his concern over Meath performances in 2011 but in the end McEnaney's management was able to weather the storm.

critical

Both Callaghan and Harnan were highly critical of McEnaney's decision to inform them by text that he had overridden an earlier collective decision to recall Geraghty. Callaghan described the management team he was part of as a "charade" in the letter and felt he had no option but to resign.

"I felt the players who commit so much of their lives to the cause of Meath football deserved better than this. I felt my continuation in this charade of a management team would do Meath football a disservice. I had to be honest with myself, and the football people of Meath," he wrote.

"For the sake of clarity, I want to stress that I didn't withdraw because of Graham Geraghty's return (as stated by a delegate at a meeting held on Monday August 8). I withdrew because of the background to how Graham's return came about and, more relevantly, a non-functioning management team due to factors already outlined."

Harnan outlined that he stepped down from McEnaney's management team but was willing to continue as an alternative to the Monaghan man.

"The questions that I asked were: What is best for the Meath team short term? Why should people who have participated in an orderly and mannerly way have to leave? Is Seamus' way the best way or only way or are there other options? I expressed a desire to remain involved at that time and felt I had something to offer but events over the next 24 hours made it clear to me that my involvement was over."

Harnan could yet be returned as U-21 manager, a position he held earlier this year.

Irish Independent

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