Friday 19 January 2018

O'Rourke bid sunk by lack of common ground with Meath board

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Of all the players that Sean Boylan managed during the county's most successful period, Colm O'Rourke always looked the most likely to succeed the old maestro once he took a step away. He was outgoing and outspoken and one of that team's most forceful characters.

When that team gathered at a hotel in Trim to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1987 All-Ireland success, it was O'Rourke who spoke on behalf of the players.

However, five managers and seven years on from Boylan's eventual departure from the position he held for 23 years and O'Rourke (pictured below) still hasn't stepped up. At this stage it looks unlikely that he will.

From a distance, the appointment of a relative unknown in Mick O'Dowd, when O'Rourke was one of the four names that presented themselves for interview, looks a little curious. Realistically, however, he was never really in the running.

It was his third 'interview' for the position, having first considered it in 2004 when Boylan was manager, drawing up a costed 10-point plan that he felt would provide the conditions for any manager to thrive on. At the heart of it was the appointment of a chief executive or full-time administrator, something that still hasn't been embraced by the county.

The plan carried many strong ideas and that was acknowledged by the county board officials at that time. But the costs of putting what he was proposing in place were too prohibitive and O'Rourke didn't pursue interest in the position any further until two years ago when he went for interview again and offered the three-man committee his opinion on which direction they should take.

This time it looked like he might make a genuine pitch for the position but even prior to his interview it was obvious that the common ground on a range of issues he would have sought could not be found.

His media commitments with both the Sunday Independent and RTE have been ongoing for over 20 years now in both cases and relinquishing those much established links may also have influenced his thinking.

Irish Independent

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