DESSIE DOLAN’S tenure as Leitrim football manager is under threat after comments made in a newspaper interview infuriated GAA chiefs in the county.
Leitrim Board bosses last night issued a statement disassociating themselves from Dolan’s remarks about the Tommy Murphy Cup and GAA president Nickey Brennan which they described as “very disrespectful”.
Dolan, at the helm for four years, blasted the decision to exclude teams that finished in NFL Division Four from competing in the All-Ireland Qualifiers. Following yesterday’s Connacht SFC defeat to Galway, Leitrim were consigned to the Tommy Murphy Cup — “a balls of a competition”, in the words of a disgruntled Dolan.
He said yesterday: “I’ve no interest in the Tommy Murphy Cup; it’s a balls of a competition. This thing about not having qualifiers is the greatest disaster and the GAA should be hung drawn and quartered for it and Nickey Brennan should be hung from his a*** up (for failing to rectify the system). County footballers want to be playing championship football. They aren’t one bit interested in the Tommy Murphy Cup and people know that if weaker counties have a second championship game it’s a big deal. Since the qualifiers came in, a few weaker counties got runs to the All-Ireland quarter-finals and that would be huge. Even some of the top teams who were beaten early on like Tyrone came back through the back door and won an All-Ireland.
“Anyone who says the qualifier system hasn’t worked is a fool.”
But hours after Leitrim’s loss to the Tribesmen, a statement was issued by the county board. It stressed that Leitrim will compete in the Tommy Murphy Cup.
“Leitrim GAA wish to disassociate themselves with the remarks made by team manager Des Dolan in the Irish Mail on Sunday in relation to the Tommy Murphy Cup and an Uachtarán Nickey Brennan. The County Board recognise that the Tommy Murphy Cup was put in place by a due democratic process and Leitrim will be participating in the Tommy Murphy Cup in 2008.
“In relation to the remarks made about Nickey Brennan, Leitrim GAA feel that the remarks are very disrespectful of the president and in no way want to be associated with them. Any other remarks made are solely of a personal nature by Des Dolan and in no way reflect the thinking of Leitrim GAA.”
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