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Oisin McConville 'Frustrated' By Armagh Rumours About Rian O'Neill

Oisin McConville 'Frustrated' By Armagh Rumours About Rian O'Neill
By PJ Browne Updated
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Oisín McConville said last week was a "tough" one for his nephew Rian O'Neill as rumours swirled regarding a fallout between him and Armagh manager Kieran McKeeney. The Crossmaglen player suffered a quad injury during training last week ruling him out for the crucial final game of the league against Tyrone.

However, the gossip had alternative stories explaining O'Neill's expected absence like him and McGeeney coming to blows at training, the two being involved in a row on the bench during the previous week's game against Galway, and the player being called into a disciplinary meeting with management.

Petrol was thrown on the boxing match rumours when five members of the Armagh group, including McGeeney, James Morgan, and Aidan Forker turned up to the Tyrone game with black eyes. Armagh were relegated to Division 2 following a two-point defeat on Sunday.

'I know it wasn't all Armagh people'

"It was a tough week," McConville, who managed Wicklow to promotion from Division 4 this year, told the BBC's The GAA Social podcast.

"It was a tough week for Rian himself, and I'm sure for Geezer and the squad too. It's absolute nonsense. I wasn't involved but I was so frustrated.

"One of the first things you (presenter Thomas Niblock) said to me when we met this morning was how good the Armagh supporters are.


"Yeah, but we also have a bit of self-destruct in us. Some of the stuff that was going about this week as regards to Rian and the injury, it was just nonsense. It was very hard to listen to.


"I actually had someone who rang to ask me what was going on. I felt the need to tell them because there was that much stuff going on. At the end of the conversation they said to me, 'Well, I heard otherwise'. I said, 'I know, but I'm telling you what's going on'.

"It was madness. I know it wasn't all Armagh people. There were other who may have been stirring the pot. Still, we need to get a grip with that sort of stuff."

26 March 2023; Rian O'Neill, left, and Connaire Mackin of Armagh before the Allianz GAA Football League Division 1 match between Tyrone and Armagh at O'Neill's Healy Park in Omagh, Tyrone. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

McConville said he believes O'Neill will be back in action in "the next couple of weeks". Armagh play Antrim in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship on April 9th.

"We trained on Wednesday night in Wicklow, and when I came off the pitch, I had a message saying that 'Rian busted his shoulder at training tonight, I hear, any truth in it?' I said I didn't know that I wasn't privy to that information," said McConville.


"I texted [Rian's brother] Oisin the next day asking him what was going on. He said he'd picked up a knock but they didn't know how serious it was. Then I knew he was injured.

"The more the week went on, the more I said that I needed to find out what it was. I don't think it's as bad as first thought. I imagine he'll be back in the next couple of weeks which is good news."

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