Butler hits out at Mayo board critics

Mayo GAA secretary Dermot Butler says some of the criticism received by county board chiefs on social media in the wake of Stephen Rochford’s resignation as senior team manager last August was “totally unnecessary”.

Writing in his first report to the annual Mayo GAA County Convention, which takes place next Sunday, Butler slammed “the faceless people who didn’t know the full facts” regarding Rochford’s departure.

Mayo County Board Secretary Dermot Butler. Photo: David Farrell Photography

Rochford stepped down as manager after three years in charge, citing “a lack of desired support” from the executive officers of Mayo GAA.

Butler also addressed the fact Mayo GAA “found ourselves in the headlines on All-Ireland final weekend for all the wrong reasons”.

“Some of the comments, on social media, directed at the county board surrounding the departure of Stephen were totally unnecessary and were by what I would call faceless people who did not know the full facts,” wrote the Crossmolina clubman.

It never ceases to amaze me that Mayo continually wash their ‘dirty linen’ in public. Would Dublin or Kerry do the same, I doubt it very much.

Butler described his first year as county board secretary as “eventful” with plenty of ”highs and lows”.

“The highs included our hurlers capturing the Division 2B League title and our U20s reaching the inaugural All-Ireland U20 football final,” he said.

“The lows included our senior team exiting the championship at an unexpected early stage and the departure of Stephen Rochford as senior team manager.

“I firmly believe that the officers of the board tried their best to deal with the situation that they found themselves in and did so with the best interests of the county in mind.

“We now have a new senior team manager, James Horan, in place and it is incumbent on us all to give James and the team itself our full support,” he added.

The secretary also reflected on Mayo GAA’s plans to build a state-of-the-art training centre in Castlebar.

“This project is vital to the development of Mayo GAA. At present, Mayo GAA have two-and-a-half pitches (including McHale Park) available for all our teams,” he said.

“We are constantly renting grounds around the province and beyond which is not sustainable. The facility, when complete, will cater for all county teams including the ladies.”

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