GAA Football

Kevin McStay attacks media over stories that surrounded Roscommon exit

During his address at The Irish News Allstars on Thursday night, former Roscommon boss Kevin McStay hit out at the media and the state of play in the GAA. Picture by Hugh Russell
Gerry McLaughlin

FORMER Roscommon manager Kevin McStay has launched a stinging attack on sections of the media, and on the alleged background to his departure from the county last week.

The Mayo man, who led the Rossies to the 2017 Connacht title, also claimed “the lunatics were getting very close to the edge of the asylum” in the wake of the “video nasty” from a recent Derry club championship clash between Slaughtneil and Magherafelt.

McStay was guest speaker at the Irish News Ulster Allstars in the Armagh City Hotel on Thursday night, and told a crowd of over 400 - which included GAA president John Horan - that he refuted any media reports suggesting player unrest had played a part in his departure from Roscommon.

“That was simply untrue, bullshit, never happened,” said the former RTE pundit.

“From our panel of 34 players, we had two retirements, four lads who wanted to travel after their college courses.

“We had two lads whose bodies were banjaxed and could not take any more and another two lads who were failing to make the matchday 26, and you would get pissed off with that.

“In fact I would get pissed off with that myself and would be pissed off if they were not pissed off.

“That’s what happens when you are on the seventh, eight, ninth, 10th team in the country, you are just on that borderline hanging in where you want to be competitive, but at the same time there is a lot of life choices and difficulties.

“That’s life and that’s how it is.”

He then claimed that some “smart-assed journalists running with the unrest story” made a “laugh out of the statement that I made as I was leaving”.

“The bit that was missed was I did not write the statement for their comfortable lousy comments,” he continued.

“I wrote it to reflect all the people who had done so much work for our county, for me as their manager over the three years. But there are smart asses everywhere.”

During his address, McStay referred to some graphic “hate mail” he received from members of the public while in charge of the Rossies.

And on the media generally, McStay claimed he had found standards “at the very best only average” during his time at the helm.

“I find that those who receive journalistic critique, very often based on factually incorrect information, I don’t think we have the energy any more to fight back.

“It’s a kind of constant sniping, it’s as if they are waiting for you to fail and the local media are just as bad.

“It’s not a nice thing - there are exceptions of course. But there are a lot of young, inexperienced journalists and newspapers don’t have the resources to give it the rigor or apply a critique a professional journalist would.

“There is a lot of top of the head stuff on social media also”.

McStay then slammed what he termed the Magherafelt v Slaughtneil “video nasty” in the Derry SFC last week.

Footage went viral of Slaughtneil keeping possession in their own half for several minutes while Magherafelt sat back and refused to engage.

“It confirmed that the lunatics were getting very close to the edge of the asylum,” he added.

“And here is my question to a lot of the great footballers that are playing the game now - why do none of ye call a halt?

“That’s a reasonable question and how do ye keep putting up with it?”

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