Sport Gaelic Football

Tuesday 19 November 2019

'We didn't try to oust Banty,' insists Allen

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

One of the biggest controversies of the inter-county season has been rekindled, with outgoing Meath chairman Barney Allen claiming that any suggestion that the County Board tried to oust then manager Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney (right) after the league defeat to Louth in April was "without foundation."

Allen alleged, in his final chairman's address to the Meath convention, that McEnaney had offered his resignation in the wake of the defeat to Louth in the final round of the league last April. McEnaney has responded by saying he had moved on from managing Meath and didn't want to get involved in a public spat over what had happened.

Taking the opportunity to "set the record straight," Allen outlined his version of events after the Louth reverse, which he described as Meath's "lowest point."

"Shortly after that game Seamus (McEnaney) offered Cyril (Creavin, the former Meath secretary) and me his immediate resignation and accepted full responsibility as manager for the performance of the team.

"Therefore any suggestions that Meath County Board tried to oust Seamus at that period of time are without foundation."

Four days later, however, the Meath County Board executive did table a motion of no confidence in McEnaney, which didn't receive the required two-thirds majority at a full county board meeting six days later.

Former manager Sean Boylan had been waiting in the wings to take over as a caretaker manager if a vacancy arose.

However, McEnaney had enough support on the night to defeat the executive motion and the team responded by reaching a Leinster final.

Allen's comments have come as a surprise as McEnaney had insisted in interviews after the Louth game that he wouldn't be resigning.

"That era has passed for me," said McEnaney.

"Meath have a new management team and a very good group of players and I sincerely hope they are successful.

"I would always take full responsibility if they weren't going well and they weren't playing well."

Irish Independent

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