Sean Cavanagh doesn't know what he is talking about says Brendan Devenney

Sean Cavanagh hit out at the Donegal County Board over the treatment of Karl Lacey but Brendan Devenney has ridiculed the former Tyrone star's comments
Sean Cavanagh hit out at the Donegal County Board over the treatment of Karl Lacey but Brendan Devenney has ridiculed the former Tyrone star's comments

FORMER Donegal star Brendan Devenney has hit back at ex-Tyrone star Sean Cavanagh’s strong criticism of the current turmoil in Donegal GAA.  

Donegal County Board are holding a special county committee meeting on Thursday evening to discuss the fall-out from Karl Lacey’s departure from the Academy.  

Prior to Paddy Carr’s surprise resignation as manager on Wednesday, the Academy had been listed as the only item on the agenda for the meeting. It remains to be seen if that is still the case. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Allianz League Sunday, former Footballer of the Year Cavanagh was highly critical of the way the board has allegedly dealt with a number of flashpoints in recent times.  

Cavanagh said that “Karl Lacey departing was the opening of the Pandora’s box”.  

But Devenney replied:  “Sean Cavanagh does not know what the hell he is talking about.  

“They would rather go into issues in Donegal but if you are going to go into them then you need to know what you are talking about and Sean Cavanagh hadn’t a bull’s notion of what he was talking about.  

“He was on about brain drain and people leaving and you can’t have throwaway comments about an issue as important and as deep a subject as that.  

“As if Karl Lacey, Rory Kavanagh and Jim McGuinness were somehow let go by Donegal. That was the first silly comment from him. 

“Jim McGuinness offered his services to Karl Lacey and Rory Kavanagh but the fact is that none of the boys went for the job.  

“The fact that Jim McGuinness said he would help out the county board at a certain date, what did that mean to a new manager that was coming in?” 

Devenney said that Sean Cavanagh was putting the whole thing “into one box as if to say Donegal’s fortunes on the pitch are anything to do with the Academy.”  

“You can’t mix these things together, they have nothing to do with each other,” said the St Eunan’s man. 

“The players that got Donegal relegated this year had nothing to do with the Academy”.  

“You can’t put the Academy and failure on the field together, they are two different things.  

Devenney agreed that the way the Karl Lacey situation unfolded led to a feeling of deep negativity in the county.  

When asked if he thought the county board had handled the situation well he said that by “staying quiet they were capping a situation that had already got out of control”.  

“I don’t think it was right for Karl Lacey to be brought in for a semi-disciplinary hearing,” said Devenney. 

“That was a bad move on their behalf but are they totally to blame in this situation? Definitely not.  

“Were things handled well by the board, I don’t think they were but I don’t think the blame is entirely on their side.”  

Speaking prior to Carr’s resignation, asked for his opinion about how two of those who interviewed Paddy Carr for the job ended up on his backroom team, Devenney said:  

“I don’t know how that came about but there must have been some sort of agreement.  

“It was not a case of you can have the job but we are in your team.  

“Those men have vast experience in coaching all over the place.”  

Devenney said that when things go against a county you still “have guys there on the county board trying to progress Donegal.”  

“I am not defending the county board but I see our Centre of Excellence and I see there is a push on to do the right thing and I see them, the same faces at football matches.  

‘They are all there to progress Donegal and I don’t see how we can ever think that they are not there for the good of the county.  

“That is why I am conscious of giving them a bit of respect”.  

Devenney warned that when “things are dark now it is very easy to start pointing fingers”.  

“Nobody wants to turn things around as much as those guys.”  

Another former star Damien Diver has called for clubs to table a motion of no-confidence in the executive at Thursday night’s meeting.  

“What is that going to achieve? So you get another bunch of guys in and will they do anything different?” Devenney questioned.  

“Karl Lacey has regrettably gone and the best thing we can do is get the Academy up and running, get those ex- players from 2012 back involved and get things moving. 

“A motion of no-confidence at this juncture, what is the point? 

“If the executive are just in there for power than we have to get rid of them by all means.  

“I have met some individuals in various county boards who I believe did not have a good attitude but that’s’ a big jump to say that whole executive is somehow against the very thing that they were in there to do.  

“I don’t see the point and it is a sad situation and I see the point in trying to oust an executive unless there are very good reasons.”  

“It is a mess but we need to get on with it.  

“There is a major difference of opinion between the board and Karl Lacey. 

“Karl Lacey is a brilliant coach and that must be said. But there is another side to this story.”