The Connaught Telegraph – Mayo GAA official hits out at ‘faceless’ social media critics

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Mayo County Board secretary Dermot Butler pictured in conversation with Stephen Rochford ahead of a National League match against Donegal last March.

THE secretary of Mayo County GAA Board has hit out at some of the comments directed at the organisation on social media in respect of the departure of Stephen Rochford as senior team manager.

In his report ahead of the board’s annual convention in Kiltimagh tomorrow, Dermot Butler said they were totally unnecessary and were by what he would call ‘faceless people who did not know the full facts.’

He stated: “Following our championship defeat to Kildare, there was much speculation in the following number of weeks as to whether Stephen Rochford would remain on as manager.

“Three of his backroom team Donie Buckley, Tony McEntee and Peter Burke stepped down in the days after the defeat.

“As time went on Stephen indicated that he was staying on only to step down as he felt he had not received the backing of the executive committee.

“There were numerous comments in the media, including social media. Some of the comments on social media, directed at the county board, were totally unnecessary and were made by people who did not know the full facts.

“It never ceases to amaze me that Mayo continually wash their “dirty linen” in public. Would Dublin or Kerry do the same? I doubt it very much.

“I thank Stephen and his backroom team for the effort they put in over the last three years. Attention now turned to who would be Mayo’s next manager. Two men put their names forward namely James Horan and Mike Solan.

“Mike withdrew his name prior to any interviews taking place which paved the way for James Horan to return as manager. It was very encouraging to see James bring on board a backroom team entirely made up of Mayo people. I’m sure you will join with me in wishing James, his backroom and the team itself all the best for 2019.”


In his report, public relations officer Paul Cunnane said Stephen Rochford suffered his fair share of criticism in the media as Mayo manager, the majority of which was “over the top.”

He elaborated: “I touched on it last year that it shouldn’t be allowed to continue but even in 2018 there were at times articles written I felt that had no facts or basis whatsoever and were very unfair to both Stephen and the players.

“Social media has also had plenty to say about Mayo GAA in 2018. I recently mentioned at a county board meeting that social media is currently not a nice place for Mayo GAA.

“There seems to be an undercurrent of negativity towards Mayo GAA, be it board, players or management. I would hope we can change this in 2019.

“I have no problem if people criticise Mayo GAA if it is warranted and sometimes it is however it time for people to get behind us and support us so we can do everything correctly all the time.

“The latest craze of always being first with a story is another area where Mayo GAA seems have an abundance of ‘talent’.

“As far as I am aware there are four local papers in Mayo but with the amount of people on social media who always claim to have an exclusive or breaking news when it comes to Mayo GAA it would mean these papers must have an army of reporters working for them. I’m fairly sure this is not the case.

“I thank those actual working journalists who report honest and correct stories while asking those who put something on social media that is completely incorrect to refrain from posting this kind of content from now on.

“This culture of always having to be first regardless of been correct has to stop. This kind of ‘journalism’ actually does more harm than good to Mayo GAA.”


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