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Fermanagh county board come out in support of O'Neill

Statement indicates that GAA and GPA’s suggestions did not represent “an appropriate way forward.”

Image: INPHO/Presseye/Andrew Paton

THE DISPUTE SURROUNDING the Fermanagh senior football team looks set to drag on after the county board rejected advice from the GAA and GPA and issued a statement in support of manager John O’Neill.

Last week, four senior members of the panel stated in writing that they were no longer willing to play for the county while O’Neill remained in charge.

Under the recently agreed Disputes Resolution Protocols, the GAA and GPA initiated an arbitration process to quickly bring the matter to a close. It is believed that one of the conditions of the mediation process was that both sides would maintain radio silence until the stand-off had been resolved.

However, today’s statement from the county board states that they “did not consider that their [the GAA/GPA] suggestions represented an appropriate way forward for Fermanagh.”

The statement strongly reaffirmed the county’s commitment to O’Neill who was appointed for a three-year term at the start of the season.

Fermanagh County Management Committee fully supports the Management Team of John O’Neill and his backroom team.

The board also took the opportunity to thank those players who had withdrawn from the panel – Peter and James Sherry, Niall Bogue and Tommy McElroy – while commending the leadership of team captain Barry Owens and the remainder of the squad who continue to support the manager.

O’Neill’s short tenure at Brewster Park has had mixed results so far this season. The Ernesiders currently lie third from bottom in Division 4 of the National Football League following two wins and a draw from their opening six games.

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A win over Clare, whom they welcome to Enniskillen on Sunday afternoon, would see them leapfrog the Bannermen and potentially move into fifth spot depending on how Leitrim fare on their trip to Longford.

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Niall Kelly

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