Photo: Irish Examiner
So, the gift that keeps giving for the media provides its latest instalment. 5,000 words – all penned by Martin Breheny in today’s Irish Independent – of an in-depth interview with Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly about the events surrounding the heave against them a bit over a year ago.
I haven’t read the full interview, I’ve no interest in doing so and certainly no desire to give any money to the Indo to get hold of it. Martin Breheny’s gushing trailer on the Indo website (here) is more than enough of this particular panto for me, as I suspect it will be for most of you as well.
At one level, what the lads apparently have to say makes sense. Player ego needs to be kept under control (agreed), outside influences need to be curbed (agreed even more). But this stuff about our never winning Sam until these two issues are dealt with is, to say the least, a bit off.
Had, for example, Conor Lane penalised Denis Bastick for clearly lifting the ball off the turf in the dying seconds of the drawn All-Ireland, leaving Cillian with a 20-yarder to seal victory, then that would be that particular theory blown out of the water. As I keep on saying (because it’s true), history is written by the winners and our ongoing saga of defeats enables all manner of guff – of which this is but the latest instalment – to be put forward as the reason for why we continue to lose.
At another level, this extended interview with the two lads is classic silly season stuff. The papers aren’t exactly chock-full with GAA content right now so it suits the Indo down to the ground to roll out the Mayo circus to fill the gap. Sad, then, that two great servants of Mayo GAA – who distinguished themselves both on an off the field for the county – were prepared to provide grist to this particular mill.
I get that Noel and Pat are still hurting over the manner of their enforced departure. What happened to them was, by any measure, sad and tawdry. But any fair-minded assessment of their tenure has also to include the earlier circumstances of their appointment, which, to put it mildly, were a good distance away from best practice.
But their coming and their going is now, literally, last year’s news. We’ve been there, we’ve done that, we’ve all moved on. A new management team have a year’s experience under their belts and they’re a team that drove us – including those bolshie players – within a millimetre of the Promised Land.
So, in the final analysis this “explosive” exposé amounts to very little. It’s a story from another time, one that’ll quickly be forgotten. I think most of us would prefer that it hadn’t been dredged up from the depths at this point in time but it has. So it goes.
Move on, nothing to see here.