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Joe Kernan: McEnaney’s treatment at Meath is disgraceful

When I was appointed manager of the Ulster football team a few years ago one of my first actions was to take on board the then Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney as my No 2.

I knew his commitment to the province, his absolute love for gaelic football and his desire to work with the best players we have in this part of the world.

McEnaney played no small part in the progress that Ulster made, as I knew he would.

After spending six years in charge of his native Monaghan, he took up the reins at Meath last year.

But although he acknowledged that he was facing into a stiff challenge, even he could not have perceived the difficulties that lay ahead.

Meath were beaten by Kildare in the Leinster championship before losing to Kieran McGeeney’s side again in the third round of the All-Ireland qualifiers.

That double setback at the hands of the Lily Whites was hard to take but worse was to follow in the form of demotion to Division Three of the Allianz League a matter of weeks ago.

Even before Meath were relegated it was known that rancour and disenchantment were rife within the county yet McEnaney was appointed for a two-year term and the manner in which he has been treated within the past week has been nothing short of disgraceful.

He is an honest, honourable man who does not deserve the barbed comments which have come his way from those who should know better.

He actually enjoyed the support of a lot of the players as far as I am aware and had still been attending club championship games in Meath up until the start of this week.

I know he was disappointed when Paul Grimley left Meath to join Paddy O’Rourke in Armagh and he was also forced to shoulder the resignation of former Meath players Liam Harnan and Barry Callaghan as selectors.

Maybe the fact that McEnaney was an ‘outsider’ did not rest comfortably with factions within the county. But Meath had three local managers in just five years immediately prior to McEnaney’s appointment and the team still did not scale the heights.

I rest my case.

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