Mayo defender admits guilt at role in 2015 managerial revolt

Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly both lost their jobs after only a year in charge

BY Daniel Kelly 11:29 Wednesday 7 December 2016, 11:29 7 Dec 2016

Mayo's Tom Cunniffe in action against Sligo in the 2015 Connacht Final. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

The tenure of Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly as Mayo joint-managers only lasted a year.

Both men replaced James Horan ahead of the 2015, as Mayo continued their elusive quest to win the All-Ireland title. Despite winning the Connacht title, Mayo would come up short in Croke Park, losing in the semi-finals to Dublin after a replay.

A player revolt, led to the two men losing their jobs, before Stephen Rochford took charge. This year saw Mayo lose once more to Dublin in a replay, but this time it was the All-Ireland final.

One of the men who voted against Holmes and Connelly was Tom Cunniffe. The Castlebar native has told the Irish Independent, that he felt the duo were treated harshly.

"We treated them badly. They should never have had to resign. They deserved a lot better."

"Obviously, the initial reaction will be - 'why is he doing this?' Some lads will be annoyed - some might say 'fair play' but whatever happens, I have no problems taking any arrows that come my way if it's any help to Pat and Noel."

"They are proud Mayo men who did so much for the county over many years. Their heart will always be in Mayo football."

Cunniffe was not part of Mayo's squad in 2016, as he is now based in America. Despite his absence from the squad, he felt it was the right time to speak he admitted.

Rochford remains in charge for 2017, as Mayo look to reach the promised land. Mayo's path towards potential All-Ireland glory remains one of the most compelling sporting stories of each summer.

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