Manager Jim McGuinness with his family, wife Yvonne, and kids Toni-Marie, Michael Anthony and Jim Jr in the Sam Maguire Cup. INPHO/Cathal Noonan

'I have nothing against Jim McGuinness' says banned journalist

The Belfast Telegraph writer Declan Bogue says he doesn’t know why the Donegal boss felt ‘degraded’ by his book.

THE GAA JOURNALIST who was ejected from the post All-Ireland SFC final press conference by Jim McGuinness, says he’d be happy to talk through any issues with the Donegal manager.

McGuinness said ‘inaccuracies’ that he says appeared in Bogue’s book ‘This Is Our Year’ were behind his decision to ban the writer on Sunday afternoon.

He refused to speak to the written press in Croke Park until after the author had left the room. Bogue’s book, which featured former Donegal defender Kevin Cassidy, led to the controversial end of the Gweedore man’s inter-county career last November.

“I wasn’t upset. Upset’s probably a strange enough word to use. No, I wouldn’t have said I was upset now,” Bogue told Today FM’s The Last Word this evening.

“The first thing you’re thinking in that situation is what you’re going to do as regards copy and how you’re going to look after your paper. It was probably more a mild shock and a sense that something was up when Jim left the room and Siobhan Brady [of the GAA communications office] came in. And I just thought: this doesn’t look good.”

This morning, writing in the Irish Independent, Bogue said McGuinness’s actions were ‘bullying and grandstanding. Plain and simple.’

This evening he says he’d happily discuss the book’s contents with McGuinness.

“It’s a first person narrative of everyone’s version of what’s happening in their own lives,” Bogue told Matt Cooper. “In terms of research how could you research it only by asking other Donegal players their version — and that’s putting their position at risk too. I did work with an editor and he would have advised me on certain things so we would’ve been very tight on our research.

He continued: “I’ve been getting an awful lot of feedback through text messages and Twitter and everything else and people are telling me the book is relentlessly positive, it’s a glowing endorsement of the management of Donegal. Kevin Cassidy says at one stage in the book that he’d run through walls for the guy.  All I heard throughout the year was that this is just so positive and he’s such a great influence on everyone.

“I have absolutely nothing against the man and would speak to him if he wished. If there was an upset and he didn’t want to make it public — which he obviously doesn’t —  a conversation or meeting would be of no bother to me.

“I have nothing to be secretive about and I stand over the book and everything that’s in it. It’s been notable that Kevin Cassidy hasn’t denied or been hazy about anything that’s in it and therefore you have to stand by what you have there, you know.”

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