Declan Bogue On The Time Jim McGuinness Asked Kevin Cassidy To Return To The Panel

Declan Bogue On The Time Jim McGuinness Asked Kevin Cassidy To Return To The Panel

Declan Bogue says he sometimes laughs at the portrayal of Jim McGuinness as a ruthless, unbending character who banished Kevin Cassidy in late 2011 for compromising their band of brothers.

If that's so, why did he show up at Cassidy's school in the spring of 2012, asking him would he return to the panel?

In 2011, Bogue wrote 'This is our year', a book which looked back at that year's championship from the perspective of a ten Ulster footballers.

It was Cassidy's contributions to this book that saw him blacklisted by the Donegal management. However, in the spring of 2012, McGuinness was willing to bring him back into the squad.

This episode did not appear in McGuinness's book, though he did mention it in an interview with Matt Cooper on the Last Word ten days ago.

Jim McGuinness was willing to admit this. He didn't admit it in his book but he did say it in his interview with Matt Cooper. In Easter 2012, Jim McGuinness called to Kevin Cassidy's school, and asked Kevin Cassidy to return to the Donegal panel.

I often see and laugh at these accounts of Jim McGuinness is so ruthless that he needed to get rid of Kevin Cassidy and put down a marker there. And even Jim's own reasoning now, that Kevin contaminated the group, I mean that's okay to say that, but if you're fully willing to take him back a few months later...


It's five years since Jim McGuinness took the Donegal job, and the autobiographies recounting that relatively brief but unforgettable era have been tumbling out.

Rory Kavanagh's book 'Winning' can be broken into two sections - 'Before McGuinness' and 'After McGuinness'.

In his Belfast Telegraph column last week, Bogue alluded to the differences of recollection in McGuinness's account and Kavanagh's account.

Notwithstanding the excellence of McGuinness's book, which Bogue doesn't hesitate to acknowledge, he feels that Kavanagh's book is a slightly grittier account of what it was like to be part of the Donegal setup between 2011 and 2014.

He agrees with the suggestion that McGuinness is inclined to romanticise his period in charge, juxtaposing the detailed account of how Donegal beat Dublin in the 2014 semi-final with the breezier treatment given over to the final loss to Kerry.

He says that much of what McGuinness says in the book should come with an asterisk.


McGuinness didn't go into too much detail on the press conference following the 2012 All-Ireland final, and did not name Bogue.

Given that Bogue had attended three Jim McGuinness post-match press conferences during that championship, he might have assumed there would be no problem after the final. We now know things turned out differently.

Here is Bogue's account of that infamous press conference from three years ago.

Notwithstanding these misgivings, Bogue is a big fan of the book and the work Keith Duggan has done with it. McGuinness has, he says, a terrific human story to tell.

However, he feels that the Rory Kavanagh book is an essential companion for anyone who wants to understand that period in Donegal football.

It's important if you're to buy McGuinness's book and you are interested in these things, you should buy Rory Kavanagh's book as well. because it does give you a slightly different take on the same occurrences and incidents.

Conor Neville
Article written by
Perennial finalist in stand-up comedy competitions and former Contract Lawyer/ Coal Salesman with Corless, Corless and Sweeney

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