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RTE boss bashing has to end, says Danny Murphy

By John Campbell

Ulster Council director Danny Murphy is urging an immediate cessation of what he terms "manager bashing" by RTE pundits in particular.

Murphy, concerned by what he feels is a deviation from conventional games analysis, believes that an "unhealthy trend" is being pursued which is culminating in character assassination.

"I do not think that this kind of punditry serves any real purpose nor is it particularly appealing to the viewing audience," asserts Murphy.

"Critical clinical analysis is to be welcomed but some recent views which have been expressed amount to nothing more than manager bashing. It's an unhealthy trend that serves on useful purpose." The top-ranking Ulster official highlights in particular Eamonn O'Hara's deprecating views on the now departed Sligo manager Kevin Walsh and Joe Brolly's scathing criticism of Armagh boss Paul Grimley in the wake of his team's provincial championship preliminary round loss to Cavan.

"Eamonn O'Hara walked away from the Sligo side and then proceeded to lambast the manager while Brolly's critique of Paul Grimley's tactics against Cavan was way over the top," he said.

Murphy adds: "Broadcasters of other sports outside the island of Ireland would not allow punditry to descend to such personal levels.

"By and large, all criticism is confined to the actual contest rather than an unhealthy and unacceptable focus on individual players."

Meanwhile, referees are to get special racial awareness training following a number of incidents of racial abuse over recent months.

One of the most serious occurred in last year's Ulster club final when Crossmaglen Rangers player Aaron Cunningham was racially abused by a Kilcoo opponent.

The Child Welfare and Protection Committee has recommended that if any player makes a complaint to a match official in relation to such abuse, an immediate and detailed note of it must be made.

In the Down senior football championship title-holders Kilcoo and Bryansford have joined Clonduff, Mayobridge, Burren and Loughinisland in the next phase.

The semi-finals of the Derry senior hurling championship saw Ballinascreen beat Lavey by 2-15 to 1-9 while Slaughtneil edged past Kevin Lynch's by 1-16 to 1-12.

St Gall's overcame St John's in the Antrim senior football championship by 3-10 to 0-9.

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