Former Meath football boss Andy McEntee has opened up about the online attacks and poison pen letters he was subjected to during his six years of “don’t b**** to keep his name”. with the royals.
cEntee’s reign came to an end in the wake of Math’s All-Ireland SFC qualifier loss against Claire earlier this month, with her resignation following a lot of online abuse directed at her son and team captain Shane.
While the elder McEntee is not on social media and tries to ignore it, his son Shane sets the record straight to trolls about paying for his flights home from Mali – where the Irish Defense Force lieutenant is part of an EU training mission. – to represent his county against Dublin last month.
Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘The GAA Social’ in a powerful interview, McEnty Snr confirmed that he “never asked or received a penny” for his time as Meath Boss, despite claims. that some people threw their way.
“We’ve all been in situations… I’ve certainly been in situations where you say something off the top of your head, you fly off the handle but sit down and think about something and write it down, a little bit of time. It takes effort,” McEnty said of the online trolls.
“All I would say is that before you say something in there, think twice about it because once it’s out there, it’s out there. First of all think about the correctness of it.
“I saw something, suggested by someone else, which surprised me, about my time and someone else says ‘he was well paid for his time’.
“This annoyed me because I never asked or received a penny from the Meath County Board. That kind of s**** ya get. It was never my motivation for this and it was for any job.” It’s not what I’ve ever taken, it (money) has never been the motivation.
McEntee fought back tears when speaking openly about the loss of her older brother Shane 10 years ago, the then agriculture minister who died by suicide in December 2012.
“You never really know – I was at lunch with him (he died) – me and Katherine my wife, and Shane and Kathleen (Shane’s wife). Katherine and Shane’s birthdays were close enough together so we Got used to going to lunch around that time,” said a torn McEntee.
“He was in poor form. I knew and I remember he told him that he was in bad form and he didn’t want to talk about it. It’s hard to know. I mean it’s really hard to know, but I don’t think we’ll ever get to the real bottom of it.”
McEntee said how no one knows what other people are mentally doing at a given time, and his view that social media allows “faceless” people to do whatever they like, “without fear of contradiction”. Giving you a chance to say
“It’s so simple, the alternative is to go out there and give your opinion. Who are these people? They’re never asked their opinion or asked for anything serious in their lives and suddenly they have whatever they want without fear of contradiction. Also like there is a platform to get him out.
“You can’t take it back, you can delete a tweet but it’s out there. It’s too simple and most of them are faceless. They don’t have a b**** to put their name on. In the post me The number of letters found will have some fake names attached to it.
“So sometimes it’s easy to say ‘who they are, they’re irrelevant’ but it’s still out there and still hurtful. Certainly with Shane (his brother), there was a lot of criticism aimed at the government It was probably not on Shane personally, and he must have found it quite difficult to deal with at the time.”
While regularly highlighting the negativity targeted at him, McEnty was keen to point out that most of the response he received from Meath fans, both far and wide, was positive and “for all the bad, there’s tons more good”.
McEntee thinks social media is helping to steer managers away from inter-county jobs, though.
“One of the problems with all social media attention is that it (inter-county management) is becoming less and less attractive unless of course you are getting paid well for it.
“Yeah, there are good days and good days are great, but you have to weigh it and think is it all worth it?
“There are a lot of boys, both in the club and in the county, who are saying the balance is wrong at the moment.”