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What gave Down board the right to do this to McCorry?

By Declan Bogue

Published 29/07/2015

Down manager Jim McCorry
Down manager Jim McCorry

The idea of an 'own-goal' isn't a familiar concept in the GAA, but there can be no more fitting description for the actions of the Down county board last week.

To recommend a change of manager from Jim McCorry leaves many questions hanging over their suitability for office.

For a start, the majority of the board was in place 10 months ago when they appointed McCorry. Since then, he secured promotion to the top flight despite having to create new leaders. So what changed? Defeat to Derry in the Ulster Championship was by a single point, and they were diddled by the decision to red card defender Conaill McGovern.

Their Championship ended with a defeat to Wexford. Not the first time that has happened in recent years.

So a heated discussion took place about the job McCorry was doing. While the board should have stood strong and supported him, they instead allowed club delegates to take a vote on it.

How many delegates attended county games this year? What qualifies them to make such a judgement on the modern-day inter-county team?

Or does it simply come down to a propaganda war and personality clashes?

Either way, the board were staggered to see the vote go - narrowly - in favour of the former Kilcoo manager.

And those events overshadowed the disgraceful way that Shane Mulholland's term as minor manager ended with a similar vote the same evening. Where are they going to get another man of Mulholland's calibre with Down in his heart?

In recent years, there has been a bit of talk about 'The Down Way', a PR-influenced term that appeared on various banners during the launching of their new kit a couple of years ago.

Prior to the media interviews afterwards, County board secretary Sean Óg McAteer said they would do things, "the Down way".

This involved having reporters ask James McCartan questions while he sat at the top table of the Clanrye Suite of the Canal Court, as if it was an audience with José Mourinho, rather than what should be a relaxed, out of season chat with reporters.

After an awkward pause and no questions, that's exactly what happened.

'The Down Way' might be a means of tapping into the tradition of teams of the past. But if it is a mission statement for the work of the board, then it has been discredited by the events of last week.

Belfast Telegraph

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