Eamon McGee has started his tenure as a columnist with the 'Irish Daily Star' like a train. Last week he wrote that, during his playing days, he used to call Diarmuid Connolly up "to abuse him" when he was drunk. And this week McGee has written an incredibly honest piece about the deterioration of his relationship with his former club and county colleague Kevin Cassidy.
Cassidy was axed from the Donegal squad after the 2011 season for his part in the book 'This Is Our Year' by Declan Bogue - a book that gave insight into the lives of ten inter-county footballers, including Cassidy. This meant that he missed out on his county's All-Ireland success in 2012. And McGee has written of the quandary he felt he and his brother, Neil, were in after the book's publication.
When Bogue's book came out, it was so hard for me to back Kevin up. I'd just got back into the squad. Was I going to jeopardise my own position? But I know Kevin was very hurt that myself and Neil - his club men - didn't back him up.
There was a time when things were very, very raw. We were in the local pub one night...the whole thing came up. There was a bit of aggro...
We had to be separated, which was lucky for me, as I'd have had the head kicked off me.
McGee admits that he thought McGuinness' reaction to Cassidy's comments - in kicking him off the panel - was "an over-reaction" and called it a "shame" that himself and Cassidy fell out over the incident. He writes that after Cassidy announced his retirement from club football the two men "walked out of (the dressing) room without saying a word to one another" - despite being close earlier in their lives.
When I was struggling in my early 20s, I was going from one messy situation to another. I wasn't in a great spot.
Kevin would call up to the house, say 'Jump in the car' and he'd try talk a bit of sense into me, and get me sorted.
There's a lot to Kevin. He had stature as an All Star and a top footballer, and could have had his pick of teaching jobs, I'd say. But he took a challenging one in a special needs school in Letterkenny.
McGee finished the piece by saying he hoped the two would "get back to something like the way we used to be".
(Irish Daily Star)
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