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.