Juvenile journalism caused ban, says Armagh's Paul Grimley
Armagh manager Paul Grimley has hit out at what he feels is "juvenile journalism" in relation to the county's media ban.
And, as Armagh absorb further brickbats following the 11th hour cancellation of yesterday's planned media briefing at the Carrickdale Hotel near Dundalk, he now insists no such blanket ban has existed.
"I am not under any contractual obligation to speak to any element of the media. I have a basic human right to speak to whom I choose and I will continue to exercise that right," insists the Armagh boss.
"I think we have seen the juvenile side of GAA journalism of late in relation to Armagh. There are even journalists who make the point that no one would be interested in Armagh anyway so it is baffling to see them continue to write about us. Strange that, isn't it?"
"It is also disturbing that certain journalists, both north and south, have seen fit to continually refer to the team management and county board in derogatory terms. One of the most recent instances of this was when our county board was described as 'spineless' and it's hardly surprising that some members of the board would like to meet the journalist in question to seek clarification on his remarks."
"The county board and executive in Armagh are people who are held in high esteem and do not deserve to be vilified by any journalist."
Grimley may have found himself in the firing line of late – it is understood that the GAA's top brass had a part to play in organising yesterday's media event that never was – but he is certainly unrepentant as he channels all his energies into planning for Saturday's showdown with Ulster champions Donegal.
And the Armagh boss stresses that what he refers to as "a so-called media ban" has not really been in operation.
"Go back over recent weeks and you will see that players like Kevin Dyas, Stefan Campbell and Ciaran McKeever have picked up significant man of the match awards and there was certainly no gag placed on them when they went to take delivery of their respective trophies," points out Grimley.
"I had asked them, though, to dwell on their own performances and contributions rather than on the team's display or tactics."
Armagh were rebuked when Kevin Dyas turned up at a recent media event at Croke Park but left immediately after the photographs without giving interviews.
"Croke Park were informed in advance of that media event that Kevin would be present for the photos but would not stay for interviews. That's how things turned out," added Grimley.
And in underlining that his complete focus is on the clash with Donegal he makes it clear that there will be "total respect" between the teams – a significant sentiment given the acrimony that accompanied the Cork v Mayo tie and, to a lesser extent, the Monaghan v Kildare game at the week-end.
"I have the greatest respect for Jim McGuinness and his team and so have my players. That will not stop us going all out to win. Total respect is something that we encourage and when the final whistle sounds we will all just shake hands and go about our business," insists Grimley.