Leahy and McHalein Westmeath row

Peter Leahy and Liam McHale have become embroiled in a war of words, with McHale denying he agreed to be part of the proposed backroom team to take charge of the Westmeath footballers.

Leahy was the preferred choice of county board officials to succeed Paul Bealin in the Lake County hot seat — but delegates shot down his candidacy on a vote of 24-19 at Wednesday night’s meeting.

When proposed by Westmeath chairman Sean Sheridan, delegates were informed that former Mayo footballer Liam McHale would be part of Leahy’s management team.

McHale insists he had not confirmed to Leahy his desire to be included in the management ticket.

“I was coming back from training with St Brigid’s Kiltoom when Brian Carthy came on the radio close to 11pm on Wednesday night. I couldn’t believe it when I heard my name read out in connection with the proposed management ticket rejected by the Westmeath delegates,” he revealed.

“I had met Peter in the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on Wednesday.

“Peter asked me to come on board as coach and I said I would think about it and get back to him in the coming days. Certainly I did not contact Peter between our meeting and the county board meeting telling him to allow my name go forward on the proposed ticket.”

Leahy has responded to McHale’s account of events, claiming he had received confirmation from the Mayo man.

“At the time of my proposal on Tuesday, October 7, all members of my backroom team were confirmed,” said the statement released by Leahy.

“It is true that one member of the management backtracked on Wednesday evening (at a meeting to confirm finer details) saying he’d “confirm for definite within 24 hours”.

“I am very disappointed that this person has decided today to distance himself after our ratification was unsuccessful. It is obviously done for personal reasons. I 100% stand by my proposed management team and did not try to mislead any delegates or county board officials.”

Westmeath chairman Sean Sheridan has expressed disappointment at the decision of club delegates to reject the nomination of Peter Leahy.

“It is disappointing for the committee who put a lot of work into this. This decision to propose Peter wasn’t arrived at overnight.

“The door is now open to all interested parties once more.”

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