Saturday 24 February 2018

Five reasons behind the Donegal split

1. Damaging appraisal

THE inquest into Donegal's capitulations against Monaghan and Mayo this summer will not have been pleasant. Gallagher and McGuinness had a difference of opinion on how Donegal should have approached their summer's work. When their side collapsed in August, the subsequent appraisal into how and why was never going to be smooth.

2. The way forward

Many Donegal players have a lot of mileage on their body clocks. With some considering retirement, Gallagher is said to have wanted to allow the more experienced players to be granted a reprieve from some of the more demanding sessions, but McGuinness would not entertain the idea.

3. Credit where it's due

AT Donegal's annual banquet last year, 34 Celtic Crosses were handed out. Jim McGuinness was presented with one, as was each member of his 33-man panel. Significantly, Gallagher did not receive one and was known to be aggrieved at what he saw at the time as a snub.

4. Workloads increased

INCLUDED within McGuinness' roadmap for 2014 was the requirement for more hours from his lieutenants. Already with a demanding schedule with Donegal, Gallagher and his wife have one young child with another on the way. Gallagher also has a busy workload as the manager of the SuperValu store in Killybegs.

5. Personalities clashed

PERHAPS McGuinness and Gallagher were just too alike – strong, combustible characters with strong opinions and volatile streaks. The men worked well together, but had differences of opinion on a number of issues. McGuinness may have seen Gallagher as going against his grain; Gallagher may have become frustrated at not having the input he craved.

Irish Independent

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