Donegal County Board responds to Jim McGuinness team holiday criticism

Jim McGuinness

Donegal GAA chiefs last night released a statement in response to comments made by Jim McGuinness regarding last year’s team holiday.

The former Donegal manager, in his weekly column in The Irish Times yesterday, suggested in the wake of last year’s All-Ireland final loss to Kerry, a number of members of the panel and a backroom team member who were not able to make the end of season holiday had not received compensation from the county board.

However, the county board have defended their stance, and insist they were following protocol laid down by the GAA.

“CLG Dhún na nGall wishes to clarify its position regarding the 2014 players and management teams holiday,” read the statement, released by PRO Ed Byrne on behalf of the Donegal County Board.

“CLG Dhún na nGall correctly followed all guidelines as issued by Croke Park to Donegal County Committee regarding holidays and are satisfied that the holiday was organised fully in accordance with those guidelines as has been confirmed by Croke Park.”

McGuinness is of the understanding that those who did not attend the holiday, which took place in Dubai, are due reparation in the form of a voucher.

McGuinness didn’t make the trip due to his commitments with Celtic FC, where he works as sports psychologist, nor did corner-back Paddy McGrath, selectors Damian Diver and John Duffy or team doctor Charlie McManus.

“In Donegal, seven of last year’s squad who were, for various reasons, unable to travel on the official holiday to Dubai, have yet to receive any sort of holiday voucher from the Donegal County Board,” McGuinness wrote.

“As it happens, I am one of the seven. But I wouldn’t be addressing this if this concerned just me.

“The official word from the Donegal County Board was that if people couldn’t travel on the team holiday, then that was it.

“But the information I obtained from Croke Park is that if you couldn’t attend a team holiday, then you are entitled to a voucher for whatever the holiday was worth.

“I have had several conversations with people in Croke Park about this and there is no implication with the Revenue or anything else.

“A total of €80,000 was handed over by Croke Park for the holiday fund, and if the non-travelling parties receive a voucher then there is no implication.

"Those I spoke to within the GAA were sympathetic to what was said. It isn’t about the holiday as much as respect … it feels as if they were punished.”


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