Jim McGuinness responds to Rory Gallagher in book row

Former Donegal manager defends accuracy of memoir following successor’s comments

Former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has taken issue with the statement by his successor and former All-Ireland-winning selector Rory Gallagher that there were inaccuracies in McGuinness's book, Until Victory Always, and questioning its account of the management team's departure in 2013, maintaining that he was "comfortable in the knowledge that Donegal County Board officers are aware of the true circumstances of my departure".

Speaking to Matt Cooper on Monday evening's Last Word programme on Today FM, McGuinness referred to Gallagher's comments, released on Sunday night.

“I’m very comfortable with the book. The facts of the matter are in the book. In terms of the people in the book, we’ve been very, very fair. I didn’t want the book to be a tabloid; I didn’t want it to something that was controversial – something that was going to drag the tone down. In my opinion, it’s a very honest account and it’s a very true reflection of myself as a person and also of the team.

“It’s very disappointing. Rory makes reference to his departure yesterday in a statement. All I can say to that is, in terms of the protocol around that, I would consider it gold standard, absolutely gold standard. Every single thing was 100 per cent done correctly.


"I spoke with the county chairman; I spoke with Rory; I spoke with Maxi [Curran]; I spoke with Francie [Friel]. I let them all go. I spoke with Pat Shovelin, the other member of the management team and informed him. I spoke with Michael Murphy and informed him as the players' representative and captain, and then I re-rang the chairman of the county board to say that everything had been complete.


“Where the ambiguity is there, I don’t understand, and I don’t know where that’s coming from. The book is the book and I’m happy with the book.”

Gallagher’s statement further stated: “I have received many requests for my reaction to the description given by Jim McGuinness in his book with regard to my departure from the Donegal senior management team in September 2013.

“At this point, I am not interested in commenting on the inaccuracies in the book while involved with the Donegal senior team.

“I will say I am disappointed Jim has chosen to comment on the break-up of the management team at this point.

“The players, management and backroom team had a very clear understanding that what happened within the group remained within the group.”

The statement was released through the county board on Sunday but only because Gallagher is the current manager. There is believed to have been misgiving amongst some in the county about the wisdom of making a public statement on the book in the middle of McGuinness’s public appearances to promote it.


County chair Seán Dunion was asked by The Irish Times whether the county board officers agreed with the statement that they knew "the true circumstances" of the selectors' departure in 2013.

Although he was county chair at the time, he wasn’t prepared to discuss the matter, particularly with the likelihood that it would be raised at Monday night’s county committee meeting.

“That’s Rory’s statement and I’m not willing to comment on it. I’m not going there between Jim and Rory. I’ve nothing to add.”

New Tipperary manager Michael Ryan is expected to unveil former team-mate John Madden as a member of his Tipperary senior hurling backroom team at a county board meeting this evening. Ryan will put forward his management team for ratification and Madden is the latest named to be linked with a key role.

The Lorrha-Dorrha clubman, who managed North outfit Silvermines this year, won All-Ireland senior hurling medals in 1989 and 1991.

All-Ireland medallist from 2010 Declan Fanning is also on board, potentially as coach, in Ryan's new regime but it is understood that former Kildare and Wexford senior football manager Jason Ryan will not be involved.

Liam Kearns will be formally ratified as Tipperary's new senior football manager after he received the green light from the football board last night.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times