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McGuinness: Homecoming talk is 'disrespectful'

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness says the row over the proposed venue of any homecoming for his team after the All-Ireland football final on September 23 has been disrespectful to his players and to the Mayo players.

Despite there being close to three weeks to go before Donegal take on Mayo for the Sam Maguire Cup, the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce recently made an issue of where any homecoming would take place, with their President John Watson calling for any celebrations to be brought to Letterkenny, as opposed to Donegal Town, where Donegal GAA homecomings traditionally take place.

The Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce contacted the Donegal County Board about the issue, but the County Board issued a statement last night saying: "Talks of a homecoming at this point are entirely premature and the focus should be on match preparation rather than events after the final."

From the perspective of McGuinness, the whole issue has been extremely unwelcome.

"I think what's gone on is very disrespectful to our own players, first and foremost," he said at the Donegal media night last night. "And then obviously to the Mayo players. It's something that shouldn't have happened. It's in bad taste.

"We have a job to do, and my job is to try and get the boys ready. And the boys' job is to try and go out and perform. And nothing should get in the way of that. And I think to be putting a story like that there out there, and to be discussing it takes away from our job, and obviously if James Horan is talking about it in his dressing room, could you blame him?

"But, as I say, these things happen and they're outside your control."

McGuinness insisted that the issue will not distract him or his players in any way, but admitted that when something like this crops up, it is annoying.

"For anything to get in the way of that (preparing the team), annoys me on a level. But there's always something you have to deal with. It won't affect us, which is the most important thing, nor will the hype affect us."

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