GALWAY BOSS MICHEÁL Donoghue has added his name to the growing list of inter-county managers who’ve admitted to receiving anonymous letters of abuse to their homes.
Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Following his resignation as Kerry manager on Saturday night, Eamonn Fitzmaurice revealed he had “a box full of anonymous letters” at home from disgruntled supporters.
At Limerick’s pre-All-Ireland final media day earlier this week, John Kiely said he also received hate mail from local supporters. “It stays in the box,” he said. “My wife picks it up and vets it and doesn’t let anything too serious come my way.”
Speaking on Off The Ball on Tuesday evening, former Mayo boss James Horan said he had to get the police involved in some cases after receiving letters of abuse.
Former Clare and Dublin manager Anthony Daly said on the Irish Examiner podcast this week that he received such letters in both cases.
And now Donoghue has become the latest manager to admit he’s been targeted with hate mail.
“I think every manager will experience it,” he said yesterday at Loughrea Hotel & Spa.
“When you’re looking from the outside he seems to have gotten a fair doing down there. We’re in a world in society now where some things are acceptable and people just go with it.
“Ye boys (the media) are well experienced, are around a lot and can see the effort, commitment and sacrifices lads have to make. Sometimes the general public won’t comprehend that. The amount of time that goes into it, it’s the same as any profession.
“People think then they can just knock whenever they want. I think that’s just society, unfortunately.”
Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
Galway have been unbeaten in the championship since 2016 and ended a 29-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy last September, but Donoghue still admits it’s still a regular occurrence.
“You’d want a thicker skin alright. I don’t even open some of then now to be honest with you. Straight into the bin.
“You can recognise some of the handwriting. It’s regular, it’s regular,” before adding mockingly, “‘Oh that’s Pat again.”
Donoghue continued: “It’s part and parcel. It’s the unfortunate side of it but look, it goes with it. But I think some of it goes OTT in fairness. Everything is scrutinised, everything is down to the level of detail. It’s getting such media coverage. Every day there’s always chat shows and lads coming on and giving their opinion and stuff. That’s just the world we’re in now.”
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Do his players receive such abuse?
“Ah I wouldn’t think so. I think when you’re in that environment…they’re all living together and they’re probably with each other 24/7. There’s huge unity and trust in our own group and they really look out for each other as well. But I wouldn’t think so no.
Fitzmaurice resigned as Kerry boss on Saturday night.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
“It is (a common problem) but the unfortunate is what’s acceptable now or what people think is acceptable. It’s going to be highlighted obviously it’s a hot topic for the last couple of days. The unfortunate thing is there’ll be another story next week.”
On the injury front, Galway expect Gearoid McInerney to be fully recovered from a calf problem to start the All-Ireland final on Sunday week.
“He’s made great progress and it’s down to him, he worked really hard last week. All he was waiting for was the nod to go out. That’s how focused he was in getting back, he left no stone unturned.
“The medics have done a great job with him as well and they are continuing to do that but until he actually goes flat to the mat and tests it, the question mark is there. But he’s doing everything and the medics are doing everything so we are pretty confident we’ll get him there.
“He just went back jogging (on Tuesday) night, so it’s just to try build it up.”
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Galway coach Noel Larkin went into a bit more detail on McInerney’s injury and admitted he was chomping at the bit to get a run out against Clare in Thurles at the weekend.
“He’s looking good. We could have chanced him last week but if it went again he was looking at three or four weeks out and Gearoid will be fit and ready for selection for the final definitely.
“We just felt it was too big a risk on Sunday morning to chance him so we went to plan B and Joseph Cooney came in. He plays in the half back line with his club and I think he was a revelation in the game. Joe doesn’t mind, he’s a Cooney he can play anywhere.
“Anyone that’s carrying knocks you want to play and mentally you are saying, ‘My body will hold up’. I wouldn’t like to be holding him for 70 minutes I’ll tell you that. he was mad to play and if we needed him he was ready to go.”
Larkin also revealed that John Hanbury has already returned to training after rolling his ankle at the weekend.
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