JIM McGUINNESS has lashed back at the political row which has broken out in Donegal over the venue for their homecoming after the All-Ireland SFC final on September 23, branding the debate as "disrespectful" and "in bad taste".
The Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce contacted the Donegal GAA County Board over the weekend to request the county team return to there - rather than their traditional Donegal Town destination - after the final.
One local newspaper emblazoned the headline: 'We Want Sam' across its front page.
"I think what's going on is very disrespectful to our own players, first and foremost, and then obviously to the Mayo players," fumed McGuiness at the team's pre-All-Ireland press night in Ballybofey.
"It's something that shouldn't have happened. It's in bad taste.
"We have a job to do and my job is to try and get the boys ready and the boys' job is to try and go out and perform and nothing should get in the way of that."
The Donegal boss conceded that Mayo would be within their rights to use the presumptuous nature of the debate as a motivating force, although he insisted it would not hinder his team's preparations.
"Obviously if James Horan is talking about it in his dressing room, could you blame him?," he agreed.
"To be putting a story like that out there and to be discussing it takes away from our job. For anything to get in the way of that annoys me on a level.
"But, as I say, there's always something you have to deal with and it won't affect us, which is the most important thing, nor will the hype affect us.
"It doesn't matter how many buntings are up here, and flags and everything else, our job is very simple.
"It's the same job we've done for the last two years for every single game.
"I'd be very, very confident that it won't impact on our thinking.
"It's going to be about taking the information, using the information and then executing it on the given day.
"That has never changed and it won't change going into this game."