Tonight’s the night

The County Board meets tonight to consider both the appointment of a new management team and the shenanigans that took place around the appointment. Apparently, there’ll be a meeting of the Executive on first followed by a full County Board meeting so what happens at the latter could well be determined by what’s decided, or not, at the former. Whatever happens it sure has the makings on an interesting night, one that could well go some way towards determining how the county fares out on the field as well as off it over the next few years.

The wider implications of the brouhaha are explored in today’s Irish Examiner in a thought-provoking piece by Terry Reilly. Terry paints a grim picture of what’s happening within the county, in particular in relation to underage coaching structures. I don’t live within the county and so have no idea about what’s happening on the ground in this area but many of you are and will know for yourselves what the story is on this.

At the bottom of that piece, there’s a second short article by John Fogarty who says that County Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas, who is likely to face a no confidence motion tonight, will attempt to explain to the meeting why Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes were appointed. If that’s his approach, it’s surely a case of his trying to answer the wrong question. This whole fiasco isn’t centred on why Noel and Pat were preferred over Kevin and Liam but rather it’s about the short-circuiting of the agreed appointment process and the subsequent failed attempt at a cover-up once this was exposed. It’s Paddy’s explanations for all this attempted cute hoorism that’s of relevance and, one assumes, it’s his persuasiveness on this that’ll decide whether or not he’s still in the chair when tonight’s meeting breaks up.

There’s other stuff on the Paddygate fiasco today, including this piece in the Irish Independent from Martin Breheny (which doesn’t really add anything to the sum total of human knowledge) and some quotes from Kevin McStay on the RTÉ website about the fall-out from the affair. In the latter, Kevin bemoans the loss he says the county will suffer by not getting Liam McHale as a coach. It’s worth quoting in full what he has to say in this regard, as he pays fulsome tribute to his wingman:

“Mayo didn’t particularly need Kevin McStay as the manager but they absolutely needed Liam McHale as a coach. He is Mayo to the bone.  For people to question his loyalty to Mayo, well has anybody played as long as Liam for his beloved colours. For that background noise to be allowed filter along for two or three weeks – will that was the single biggest disappointment of my application.”

He also goes on to say that “it’s all over now” and that he’s prepared to row in behind the new appointees. Given this and what Liam McHale has already said, I’d say there’s now zero chance of getting them back in the ring in the event (an extremely unlikely one in my view) that the process is restarted.

Finally, something of the on-field variety, in the form of Aidan O’Shea’s interview with Today FM’s Matt Cooper on The Last Word yesterday evening. There’s a piece on what Aidan had to say in the interview in the Irish Independent (here) and the full interview is available here (it starts at 36.40).

The audio is worth a listen – despite Cooper’s annoyingly supercilious interviewing style – and in it Aidan looks back to Limerick and the team’s record under James Horan and also talks about the future, saying that the team will need to freshen up its approach a bit next year. Aidan is also asked, and gives his opinion on, the appointment fiasco but it’s good to see that his main focus is on what happens inside the white lines and that he’s already looking forward to 2015. As hopefully the rest of us will be too, once all this current nonsense is done with.

76 thoughts on “Tonight’s the night

  1. It’s looking like paddy McNicholas is getting geared up to bypass the no confidence motion, he’s going to read out a statement followed by a q&a on the statement, not the actions of a man getting ready to jump ship!

  2. What is apparent from this mess and the last 30 years is the poor standard of the county board personnel. Mayo Gaa desperately needs someone who can run it as a business in a professional manner, because it is a business and given the supporter base it should be very successful. This gombeenism that exists where a good club man ends up as chairman has to stop. A radical change in philosophy is required.

  3. I’d say paddy mcnic didn’t get to where he is today by responding to calls for his head!
    Let’s see if anyone is brave enough to take him on or are all these delegates yes men

  4. Good point Roger. What exactly are the delegates going to say or do about the whole thing? They are after all the representatives of the clubs. If they have the bottle to put the boot in then well sure the whole thing is all irrelevant anyway.

  5. Terry Reilly’s piece is indeed grim. That seems a great amount of money that Kerry raised in the States – does anyone know exactly how much Mayo raised in 2013 in New York?
    According to Mayo GAA accounts we raised some 827k through fund raising in 2013, with 421k coming from Cairde Mayo. But there is no detail on what specific events raised, in terms of New York at least.

    It would be interesting to see that specific gap between ourselves and Kerry (or whatever the top county is in terms of fund raising in NY), as I think with the amount of immigration from Mayo and with our calibre of players, we should be well able to be the gold standard ourselves. When you’re facing teams like Kerry and Dublin with massive sponsorship deals from massive companies, every penny counts.

    It’s a slightly tangential point, but that part of the Examiner article really caught my eye.

    Having said all that, if P McNicholas is still chairman after tonight’s meeting, no amount of funds will restore my confidence in the CB…

  6. Should have read…

    If they “don’t” have the bottle to put the boot in then well sure the whole thing is all irrelevant anyway.

  7. God this whole thing is so annoying and depressing.

    Maybe I am alone on this – I love Mayo and I love following the Mayo team, but I really don’t have much time for the GAA. Why? because everything about it seems backward, conservative, amateur, insular and tribal (in the worst sense). Bad Refs (nothing happens, ), Paid Managers (Pretend is doesn’t happen) Sectarian/racial abuse at games (platitudes, lip service etc ) violence on the field ( token punishment), professionalism (payment bad for players, for hierarchy and Officers it’s OK though), structures and dev (let’s set up a half-harsed academy ) etc, etc

    I am sure there are many on this site who are part of clubs and enjoy it, I know there are many who volunteer their time to coach kids at clubs and do a great job, but I look at the GAA hierarchy in CP and in the Provinces and Counties and see mostly old men whose ideas and opinions would be a lot more suited to the 1950s than the 2010s.

    The Liam Horan report was a huge lost opportunity. That debacle proves that nothing will change with the Mayo County Board. In twenty years time someone else will be passing around the same biscuit tin and we will be making the same bad decisions and ‘radical’ will still be a bad word.

  8. Mayo people are the most migrated county in Ireland. Lucky I have not had to do that myself (yet). Not just places like NY, Boston, Chicago but Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Texas, California etc should be looked at for fund raising. There are plenty of passionate Mayo people all over the world some of which have done very well for themselves.

    Invite them home. give them free Cairde Tickets, a Mayo Jersey, erect a wall of donars if required in McHale Park. Send our players over to do camps, past players to fundraisers. Despite us being an amateur organization it is all but in name at this stage professional and it takes serious $$ to run a top class county team these days. Have a Mayo night every year in as many cities as possible (I know various Mayo associations do have such nights)

    We are doing well but so much more can and needs to be done.

  9. the chairman will get his hand slapped,af ew heated words willl be spoken,and the chairman willstillbein place after the meeting,.club delegates dont want to be seing to rock the boat,in case it affects their club somewhere down the line,and idliketoknow where allthe biscuitshave gone

  10. Not only were there less funds raised in NY than by Kerry but bridges were burned with fund raisers out there and fans who travelled were treated like dirt as well.

  11. It looks like ‘same old, same old!!!…..’ from Mayo County Board officials, Executive Committee and County Board Delegates. No one besides Gerry Bourke was brave enough to stand up and be counted for once to say ‘enough is enough…’. If this issue is not dealt with properly, which at this stage now looks very unlikely by the sound of things, the new management team have no chance of succeeding. They are doomed to fail. Your have only to look at the National sports headlines. The comments are already starting to flow from sports journalists all over the place. No disrespect to Noel and Pat, but no matter how good or bad their decisions might be, they will surely be questioned. Not forgetting that theses two lads have done nothing wrong but applied for a job they both love and have a heart for, in a voluntary capacity. It is now down to County Board Delegates and the Executive Committee to make sure they get properly elected. The only way this can be done is to remove the County Board Chairman and any member of the Board who had a hand in this fiasco. Otherwise, it will be on the shoulders of all the delegates and the Executive Committee that Mayo football was allowed to disintegrate into a farce and end up in a mess like this.

  12. The following questions should be asked:

    The board met both parties and reviewed their plans for Mayo Gaa. Were minutes conducted at that meeting? Can these minutes be made public?

    If not who attended this meeting.

    Who decided to appoint connelly & holmes before the interview process was to take place?

    Who called mc stay to ask him to attend the interview when the job had already being as good as given to connelly & holmes?

    What are the county boards ethics?

    Who stood up to croke park when liam o neill said go down to limerick if ye know whats good for ye?

    Was a deal done on the outstanding finance owed on mac hale park when mayo agreed to go to Limerick(this may be branded as additional monies from croke park when dishing out their budgets)

  13. You can’t slam the whole executive, that’s like 15 people? They are not all complicit FFS.

    Let it unfold

  14. There seems to be a great reluctance to take on board simple lessons. I find it ironic that both James Horan and the CB fall into this category. Fact is we let an All Ireland slip at every level possible including managerial (failure to criticize ref on day and failure to learn from drawn match) and CB( what a joke the process was)
    Hard to disagree with Mayonaze,Pebblesmeller and everyone else on this.
    And Kevin McStay- what a way to treat an ex player and ex manager and someone who isn’t afraid to take correct calls.
    And I don’t agree with those who say it does not matter-Sport is essentially about pride and its hard to have pride in a county that does this.
    The clubs elected the chairman- the clubs should speak now.

  15. Its time that Mayo is ran like a business, start by getting rid of corruption and go from there at a fast pace to sort out proper funding and coaching for the future players of the county at all ages from 5 to 18.

  16. How do posters know the outcome of tonights meeting already? You don’t. Have some faith in the clubs and the delegates who clubs have appointed. Also the exective of our county board are not all to blame for this. It seems to me like a solo run. My own view is that Mc Nicholas has to go tonight.

    It amazes me how people in Mayo are always so negitive, out of difficulty often comes real opportunities. I couldn’t care less what national media say about us, or Kerry or Dublin or anyone else for that matter. All that really matters is the GAA within Mayo, from the smallest club to the county team and making it the best we can. We can win Sam very soon if we hold the head and work togeather.

  17. What corruption David?? R u a club member?? Are you first to put your name forward for jobs like County board delegate at your AGM??

  18. All – the word “corruption” has been tossed out rather glibly more than once in relation to this issue without any supporting evidence. An allegation of corruption is a pretty strong one to make so I’d prefer if this term is avoided, until and unless there’s clear evidence that this has taken place. As things stand, I can see no evidence that it has. Incompetence, stupidity and terms of that ilk are all fine for descriptive purposes in relation to this issue but please keep the ‘c’ word out of it.

  19. Its nowhere near good enough, Mayo senior panellists have trained, behaved and done everything in a professional manner this last 4 years and longer, probally back as far a John Maughan’s appointment in 1995. To have a county board behave in such a shambolic manner in the appointment of a management team should not be tolerated. As it happens Connelly and Holmes would be my preferred combination of the (2) contesting the position. But that’s neither here nor there, fans don’t and shouldn’t get the choice of who they would prefer, neither should players, but their opinion should be welcome, and of course its very unlikely they all have the same first choice. The most important thing and indeed only thing is whats best for Mayo both now and in the future. If its as it now appears that its (a nod is as good as a wink) in the politics of Mayo county board, the position was always a done deal. Well as for Mayos reputation its very damaging. Firstly their is currently a vacancy for the minor job, if the perception is out there that a fair completion between competing canidates is a myth and again its a done deal before anyone officially applies, well that’s only going to stop many able canidates from applying. Seccondly the McStay / McHale fiasco is going to leave a sour taste and stop others inside or outside the county considering Mayo a an viable county for a very talented and ambitious manager to aspire to lead. Thirdly if Mayo now has a reputation of unfair completion maybe it has already stopped one or more possible canidates in the greater GAA world from applying for this job.Finally the GAA playing youth of the county will hardly be impressed with any show of favouritism at the top table and may turn away from the huge demands required to hope to play for Mayo at any grade. In my opinion heads should go tonight, and more that just the chairman. Not alone is it not good enough for the county board to be transparent and fair it must be seen by the Mayo public and the greater GAA public as so!

  20. All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing or say nothing when they should stand up and speak the truth. The truth is all that matters and truth is our county and our teams have not been treated with the respect that we, their supporters wish to show them. It is time to clean the cupboard and put in fresh blood with passion and a love of Mayo GAA…that is my wish and my prayer…as a lifetime and eternal Mayo fan. We deserve better and I wish that a few good men and women would stand up and shout ‘NO MORE’…we can take no more and we want what is best for our teams.
    I have nothing but respect and admiration for all our players who train and passionately try to win the ultimate prize for our county. They have talent and courage and passion…what more do you need to win…? The elephant in the room has been there too long and needs to be put out to pasture. A few good men please…with Mayo firmly in their hearts…going home to light a candle!

  21. Lads, lassies I would put my house (if I had one) on McNicholas still being in situ this time tomorrow. The man is going nowhere and the more I think about it, I find it hard to blame him in one sense – does he fall on his sword now and be synonymous with this fiasco for evermore, or does he brazen it out and try to put it behind him?

    The correct and honourable thing for him to do, of course, would be to resign, but mark my words, it won’t happen. And I’m afraid Liam Horan’s document will remain filed under B. Although, ceideboy, I am more than happy to be proved wrong on either count or both.

    The last few days have had a strange effect on me in that I am growing in sympathy by the minute for the county board. This may be down to the realisation that it really is a thankless task being surrounded by hurlers on the ditch like ourselves who know everything and have all the answers, or alternatively, I may be developing some kind of brain fever. But sympathy or not, it’s impossible to argue with the points made above about fundraising, and indeed many of us have already rambled on at length elsewhere about it. If the county board take nothing else from the events of the past few days, they should be heeding of Terry Reilly’s excellent article in the Examiner, and giving serious thought to appointing a Director of Finance. The bottom line is, you have to spend money to invest money, and with the right candidate, that would be money very well spent indeed.

    Pretty damning words too by Terry when he refers to “Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes, who have now inherited the most unenviable role in the GAA landscape”. And he is 100% correct – that was borne out in the lack of interest for the post in the first place.

    Tonight will be interesting – purely from an entertainment perspective I’m looking forward to the updates but ultimately, I hope we won’t all be left banging our heads off the walls and that it’s a constructive meeting.

    PS I had to look up ‘supercilious’. What a great word. Am off to overuse and abuse it elswehere.

  22. I was thinking over last few days since all Ireland final and trying to put myself in the players boots.
    Ok I know we are now very close to winning sam. The new management team should get more out of us. I am looking forward to the first meeting with management and seeing what plans there are.
    County semi finals are coming up. Maybe a new player or two will stand up.
    After watching all Ireland final I know we could have beaten either team and would love to play Kerry again.
    So things are looking up when all this happens. Jesus.

    So now we are fighting in public. Meetings and counter allegations. Resignations, media exclusives, blogs going mad.

    But but is there an opportunity here?
    Maybe now this will unite us all.
    A county board FULLY behind the mayo effort.
    The new management determined to progress this amazing group of players.
    Financal efforts to be fully explored.
    Proper structures in place for underage teams.
    Media especially local to fully back the team and management. Supporters as ever willing to follow this team wherever.
    And finally the players to feel that EVERYONE but everyone is behind them this year.
    What a trip that would be. Unstopable.
    God I live in hope.

  23. Someone has to carry the can for this calamitous nonsense. McNicholas will undermine the whole CB if he tries to brazen this out. As it stands many (including myself) will expect further changes. I live outside the county but if I did reside in the homeland I’d making it very clear to my club delegate that enough is enough. We have one of the best squads in the country DESPITE the incompetence of the administrative setup. We’re simply not going to be able to maintain the current level of performance unless something radical changes at CB level. It has to be very disheartening for the players to watch this bullsh’t unfold around them.

  24. I’m inclined to agree Anne-Marie with your take on tonight’s meeting. It’ll all be glossed over with a carefully prepared statement read out by the Chairman, who by the way will have over the course of the few days made sure to have the numbers on side to defeat any vote of no confidence that might be called. A public statement will then be prepared for the waiting press and Connelly and Holmes might even be lined up to put a positive spin on the whole thing – yes I can see it all coming together with the Chairman escaping without as much as a glove laid on him..

  25. wj i wonder what the people on here would have voted for if you ran a poll on which way they would like the current mayo team to move forward before the fiasco of last weekend. 1 To complety overhaul the current team and selectors and try out a new format .
    2 To tweak the present set up and add a few fresh faces to the back room team .
    It would be interesting to see how the bloggers on here would have voted .

    I hope we get a clear understanding from tonight’s meeting what went on , and above all get closure on this sad saga , so we can finally move on

  26. The chairman is as somebody else pointed out akin to Harvey Oswald . Or was it the guy on the Grassy Knoll. In truth I am sorry for him. He may have gone on a solo but somebody slipped him the pass and ball.

    Outcome tonight is simple. Apologies, mea culpa, the boys of county mayo and shamrock and heather stuff. The chairman cannot go , it’s as simple as that . The reasons are complex but equally simple. On we stumble.

  27. Mayo / Meath
    I can’t read anyone’s mind but my vote would be for the tweaking and a few fresh faces.

  28. McNicholas staying will collapse fundraising efforts from this point on. Any type of Mayo GAA fundraising will be hit hard by this and I mean much more than 5%. Try and organise a golf fundraiser with him still in charge!
    Very concerned that Michael Fitzmaurice has resigned from The Academy citing Dissillusionment with how it was operating. We reached the 2010 minor final almost winning it vs Tyrone. Where are all the u23 players? Michael Fitzmaurice resigning answers that question.

  29. This lad will brass neck it out,wait and see.It’ll be followed by a lot of anger on here and probably a few Facebook pages set up and that’ll be it.Very disillusioned.

  30. Jesus,following what is been reported in the tweets……this is becoming a even bigger shambles,as expected he’s trying to brazen it out.”The package”is already gaining mythical status.Jokeshop.

  31. Any word on who the medical team is? I assume the core group who have done fine work up to now will continue. Sorry to see Fitzmaurice go. Tend the grass roots, it’s not all about today.

  32. Ps Fogra:

    “The Pull” Liam Horans farce on GAA back room shenanigans is on in Castlebar tonight in the Linen Hall theatre .

    The other comedy, real, is on in MacHale Park.

  33. Following tweets …with interest, …..we have had aidan o ses fringe , James horans hat, and now let’s all follow “mcstays package”!!

  34. I hope Kevin Mcstay reveals his package . Paddy thought it was to radical. You could not make this stuff up . Was Mcstay going to shoot cormac reilly . Now that would be radical.

  35. There certainly was an element of comedy there to all that in fr.Ted fashion. The package , ffs you just couldnt even make it up.

    Proven untouchable. Club delegates comin in for a bit of stick too, honestly going for the little man there. Club delegates are just there , imagine if a club delegate from a small club stood up tonight and caused havoc, his club would be fooked for eternity.

  36. There’s an old saying here….”dont fight City Hall, or else” well, its seems it prevailed this evening!

    paddy solidified his position before ever going there tonight…so it was naieve to think anything other than his pontificating and “lets all move on now for the sake of the county” would unfold.
    …disgusted with this arrogant, yet amateurish organization we call the county board.

  37. Worse than I expected. Why did no one ask what went on last Saturday? Absolute bullshit. God bless Horan for putting up with these imbeciles for 4 years.

    Also no way did McStay deserve what he got tonight. I don’t know what was in his package but I do know he was trying to do what was best for mayo football.

    I also smell a rat here. Connelly and Holmes weren’t interested initially. Then mc stay announces his package. I reckon they were then begged to take job.

  38. When all said and done I see progress, this week they waited until they had the meeting before they announced the result of the meeting. Hmm small steps…….

  39. We are dealing with a crowd that have plunged themselves into enormous debt for an oversized stand that is never full with blue seats and 8 poles. Nothing further should surprise us!

  40. Up ya boyo ya , for the old timers is joe corcorcarn going to America, when we have a nice man here in castlebar

  41. Was it the package that was to radical or McStay that was to radical or a combo of McStay and his package that was to radical.Secrets of Fatima hold nothing compared to this package.What a joke

  42. Same old joke as always. Is there no 1947 vintage Sean Flanagan in Mayo? It seems not.
    God help us because we will not help ourselves. Only problem there is that God usually expects those seeking help to meet him halfway.
    Maybe there is a priest’s curse on us – that of the priest Sean Flanagan ordered out of the Mayo training camp telling him he did not want to see him [the priest] until the All Ireland was won. If he was a Co Board officer he probably did put a curse on us.

  43. Difficult to see where we can go from here.Very disapointed after that meeting tonight
    Think couty board credibility now at all time low..
    McStay is the only one coming out of this with honour.

  44. lets start afundraiser 2euro per entry,put the tailon thedonkey,or in mayos case.guess whats in the package

  45. sept 8th – McStay outlines package to co board informally.
    Sept 19th- Noel Connelly/ pat Holmes outline their plan.

    Those 11 days in the middle I think were fairly frantic in trying to get the Connolly/ Holmes team on board.

  46. How are Chairde tickets going to sell? Mayo jerseys in Elverys? Match tickets? County board draws? This will not be restricted to social media Dissillusionment. It will be a struggle to finance Mayo GAA with Paddy McNicholas as Chairman.

  47. So when do we get to see connelly/ holmes package(s)…..

    Seeing as mcstays is too “calamitous” for us to handle!!..
    U couldn’t make this stuff up…..

  48. Anyone who thought that heads would roll at tonight’s Co Board meeting don’t live in the real world. Like all committees one sees in every walk of life they can be a very close net group and tend to look after themselves at all costs. Tonight was no different and you can be sure that all i’s and t’s would have been dotted and crossed long before the meeting proper took place, that’s the way these things usually go and with the Country’s GAA people watching they were going to make dam sure there would be no blood spilled in Castlebar tonight. And for them the main business of the meeting was concluded as they were able to ratify our new Management team for a three year term and by tomorrow that will be making the headlines as the two boys outline their plans for Mayo football over the coming years, and right now isn’t that the most important thing of all.

  49. They think it’s all over! I suspect it hasn’t even started. Unfortunately it will hurt the cause of Mayo football .I have no doubt scorn and ridicule are already fermenting in the press rooms of Dublin and cork for tomorrow’s papers……and disillusionment in the hearts and minds of those we would like to influence in favour of our gaelic games. We will be seen as clumsy buffoons who can’t be trusted to do even the simplest of things in an acceptable way.
    Deeply saddened by the whole affair. Feckit anyway. I’m off to bed.

  50. It’s time to move on. Let’s not continue with the hysteria.
    Few points;
    Mc Stays package wasn’t suitable to what CoBoard wanted (continuity). Remember there was only two parties interested. Once Mc Stay confirmed that he wasn’t flexible with his package then H&C were only other option.

    Once Mc Stay had telephone call with Paddy Mc then McHale knew they were out of picture so Newstalk got the news.

    PR from then on was terrible from Mayo CoBoard.

    There should not have been an applause tonight. That’s not acceptable.

    As a county we are hysterical when it comes to Mayo GAA. Everything is dramatical. How come for a county that hasn’t won an all Ireland since 51 we have so many expert analysis – Mc Stay/ Brady/Padden/ Carney etc. …We sure can talk!

    Time to move on. After all the CoBoard don’t put the ball between the posts!

  51. Michael gallagher posted on Facebook yesterday not to expect any heaves last night or very little else and so it proved.

    But kudos to the stephanites delegate who certainly asked the tough questions I have no idea who he was.

    The fact is that the clubs have to toe the line as the board are the one who dish out the patronage.

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