Monday 20 November 2017

'Any criticism Mayo players get is wrong', blasts former star Ronan McGarrity

Mayo Footballer Ronan McGarrity. Photo: Keith Heneghan / Phocus
Mayo Footballer Ronan McGarrity. Photo: Keith Heneghan / Phocus

Barry Lennon

Ronan McGarrity has hit out at Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes for revealing details of last year's dressing-room revolt, saying "any criticism Mayo players get is wrong".

The former Mayo midfielder questioned why the management duo blamed a small group for the successful heave after their All-Ireland final defeat.

McGarrity claims their decision to reveal all in an Irish Independent interview could harm the western county.

"I played for Mayo for years and I've nothing but admiration for people who play for Mayo. So to see people coming out and criticising players, I have no time for that," he said.

"They talked from the edges, they didn't name names. It's a bit of mystery why two lads that are very well respected in Mayo football would come out and do such a thing at such a vulnerable time in Mayo football after an All-Ireland (defeat)."

Hurt

Ballina man McGarrity retired from inter-county football after Mayo's All-Ireland defeat to Donegal in 2012 and still feels the hurt of missing out on a Celtic Cross. He believes that a similar fear of missing on All-Ireland glory influenced the players' decision to mount a heave last year.

"The demands on inter-county players now far exceed the demands that were put on me years ago," he said.

"If you're wasting those years, it can really haunt you when you look back on your career. All they wanted was the best structure and the best people there to help them to win. I don't see anything wrong with that. Any criticism that those players get is wrong."

McGarrity accepts that Connelly and Holmes had "a huge job" to replace James Horan as Mayo manager who was "loved by those players".

"You have to say that Pat and Noel were very, very gutsy and very, very loyal to Mayo to take on that job. Okay it didn't work out but for what reasons? This team and the guys know themselves what went on, " he said.

Irish Independent

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