Legendary Meath footballer Gerry McEntee has hit back at comments made by former Tyrone manager Art McRory in The Sunday Independent last week.
In the course of an article on the sledging controversy, McRory claimed that the Meath team of the 1990s had a simple tactic of "targeting the top player on the other team and everyone within 20 metres of him would hit him with everything they had".
But McEntee, who won two All-Irelands, five Leinsters and an All Star over the course of an illustrious career with the Royal County, has reacted angrily to the comments in a letter published in this week's Letters to the Editor section.
He says McRory's claim "is not only factually incorrect, but an insult to the intelligence and integrity of Sean Boylan, a man that I never once heard encourage any form of physical or verbal intimidation in the 10 years I had the privilege of playing under his guidance."
McEntee, who is now one of the country's most noted surgeons, continues: "I can guarantee that all the players under his stewardship at national and international level could put their hands on their heart and say likewise."
He adds: "It seems that Art has never got over Tyrone's 1996 All-Ireland semi-final defeat on his watch, and the late tackle that John McDermott put in on Peter Canavan which was exactly that, a late tackle, but was dealt with by the referee at the time as he saw fit. I am sure that there are a number of teams or individuals who 'suffered' at the hands of Tyrone during their hard-earned and well deserved three All-Irelands, but I hope they will have got over it 20 years later.
"As for his view that he knows 'of no manager who would . . . tolerate it' (sledging), let's wait and see how the Tyrone minor management, which includes Ryan McMenamin, a self-proclaimed 'sledger', deal with the claim by Donegal's Declan Bonner that their captain Michael Carroll was subjected to vile verbal abuse by two Tyrone minor players. . . That's the second allegation of verbal abuse made against a Tyrone underage team in the past month."
McEntee also said he was "disappointed" by the comments.
Sunday Indo Sport
If a PR company could make the Leinster football championship look anyway interesting they would be worth their weight in gold. Perhaps the Leinster Council should put up a prize and invite companies to come up with ideas on how to market it as a serious competition. The likelihood is that nobody would enter because this provincial championship is a dead duck. It has been so for a long time and it is showing no sign of improvement.