'I think there's a more sinister issue here,' said Michael Duignan on Morning Ireland. The Offaly All-Ireland winner turned hurling analyst was speaking about Davy Fitzgerald's criticism of him and Henry Shefflin following Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final between Wexford and Waterford.
Duignan, in a tweet sent during the game, had suggested that the sweeper system deployed by both teams should be banned. That appeared to annoy Fitzgerald, who in a spin on the usual 'show us your medals' riposte - something which doesn't work with Duignan and Shefflin who have 12 All-Irelands between them - questioned instead their management credentials.
Sweepers should be outlawed! Not the game I love. Coach players to tackle & to use their heads instead of using extra backs to compensate!
— Michael Duignan (@DuignanMichael) July 23, 2017
'RTÉ should go and have a look at themselves and get analysts who have been on the sideline and who know what the story is about,' said the Wexford manager.
It was Fitzgerald advising that Duignan and Shefflin should be replaced by RTÉ which annoyed the Offalyman the most - 'I wasn't happy about it.'
I think there's a more sinister issue here, more or less calling for my head or Henry Shefflin's head as analysts on the Sunday Game because we haven't managed at a high level, which is total nonsense.
I don't know where he thinks he has this influence over RTÉ or anyone else. His job is managing Wexford at the moment, as far as I know.
I'll say this: I'm not here with you this morning or doing media work because I love RTÉ. I'm on it because it's a job and I lost a lot over the last 10 years, including my business. I do the Sunday Game - I love it; I write for the Mail on Sunday; I contribute to this programme. I'm not getting paid the massive fees that some people might think but I make a living out of it, I have kids going to college etc.
I think it's a bit more serious than Davy trying to laugh it off and saying we're friends, all that sort of stuff, or that he knows me, he likes me. It's nothing to do with personalities. It's about giving an opinion.
Following Sunday's defeat for Wexford, Fitzgerald also said that Duignan 'should have had an opinion on something recently and he didn’t have it.' Though he didn't specify exactly what he was talking about, it has been taken that the Clareman was referencing Brian Cody laying a hand on an official during Kilkenny's qualifier loss to Waterford.
Duignan said that he did indeed address that incident, it's just that his opinion did not suit Fitzgerald.
I was on the Sunday Game that night, I gave an opinion supporting Brian Cody and that obviously irked Davy because I didn't support him when he came on the field against Tipp. I felt he should have been suspended, they were two completely different incidents. That obviously got up his nose.
You can listen to Michael Duignan speaking on Morning Ireland below.
Michael Duignan defends his role as RTÉ pundit after Davy Fitzgerald's criticisms pic.twitter.com/VqVMuN1ebL
— Morning Ireland (@morningireland) July 26, 2017