Home GAA Was Jim McGuinness Right to Criticise Fermanagh Supporters?

Was Jim McGuinness Right to Criticise Fermanagh Supporters?

Fermanagh’s Tomás Corrigan has attacked comments made by Jim McGuinness

In his Irish Times column yesterday, former Donegal manager, Jim McGuinness, wrote that he found the weekends football action to be ‘eerie and genuinely disturbing’. He admitted that the manner in which Kildare and Fermanagh were beaten led him to feeling ‘apprehensive at times in Croke Park on Sunday’, adding that, ‘he started to cringe inside’.

Although McGuinness was analysing the wider implications of Kildare and Fermanagh’s heavy defeats, he was also critical of Fermanagh supporters. The former Donegal manager wrote, ‘They were 10 points down with 15 minutes go to and you would think they were the team winning. They were jumping up and down in the stands and the team was applauded off the field’.

McGuinness also wrote that after he stayed in his seat after the game, he noticed that the ‘Fermanagh boys came back out and they were hugging their family and friends and the scene was one of joy. And that spooked me because they had been well beaten in an All-Ireland quarter-final’.

Tomás Corrigan took issue with McGuinness’ remarks, tweeting,  ‘I think J McGuinness’s article is unfair. Picking out Ferm players/supporters to suit his theories is lazy and wrong’. Corrigan also blasted those who criticised him for celebrating his goal, writing, ‘As for ppl asking why I celebrated when I scored the goal, it was an automatic reaction. I only regret not blowing kisses’.

_____

Listen to our dedicated GAA podcast below.

_____

Although McGuinness was making a wider point as to the future of the Championship, arguing that he was worried ‘of a situation where the game is running away from many counties’. He could have been more tactful. While McGuinness praised the fact that the ‘Fermanagh team kept chipping away and they played with a great spirit and got some good scores in the closing stage of the match’, he managed also insulted many supporters of the Ernesiders.

While McGuinness legitimately asked, ‘Do we want to develop our teams and players to be competitive in each county? Or do we continue doing the least amount required to fulfil our obligation?’, he was also critical of fans who hoped that Fermanagh would not be ‘annihilated’ against Dublin. In this sense Corrigan was correct when he Tweeted, ‘the article is contradictory in a few key points. Need more than 140 characters to explain though’.

Indeed, while McGuinness can correctly point to the amount of money being spent by the top counties as a factor prohibiting smaller sides from being able to compete, he should not have criticised Fermanagh supporters. Although Fermanagh were let down by a poor start, they did not become demoralised or lessen their efforts. Characteristics that endear teams to their supporters. The effort displayed by Fermanagh was in complete contrast to that of Kildare, whose fans have every right to be angry.

Fermanagh’s fans were simply acknowledging the effort of their team, who responded in kind during the closing stages. While McGuinness pointed to the lengths that he had to go to in order to bring success to Donegal, he did not mention the necessity for players to expend massive effort and commit to a huge amount of self sacrifice. Characteristics that are the building blocks for success and are identifiable with supporters.

Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena

_____

Listen to our dedicated GAA podcast below.

_____

About The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.