Sport Gaelic Football

Friday 20 April 2018

Craven folly of O'Brien axing

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

COURAGE and persistence have long been recognised as a core part of Meath's football DNA, yet both were locked out of the decision-making process on Monday night when Eamonn O'Brien was removed as team manager.

Royal they may be, but loyal they weren't as they voted him out (32-29) by secret ballot. Why the closed ballot? Surely, clubs have enough moral fibre to let it be known publicly where they stood? As for the decision to oust O'Brien, it's another crass example of delegates acting as if they're board members of English soccer clubs, where managers are regularly shafted on impulse.

Meath reached the 2009 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Dublin by 11 points and won this year's Leinster title under O'Brien. They won nine, drew one and lost three of 13 championship games but a majority of the county board didn't deem it good enough.

Contrast that with 1985 when Sean Boylan completed his third season in charge of Meath with a 10-point defeat by Laois in the Leinster semi-final, having won four of eight games and no Leinster title over three summers. Unlike this year, Meath persisted with Boylan, which actually worked out quite well!

Irish Independent

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