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Horan fury with RTE’s ‘biased’ view

JAMES HORAN has levelled a dramatic accusation of pro-Donegal "bias" against RTE for its coverage of last year’s All-Ireland SFC final build-up.

The Mayo manager has even suggested that the national broadcaster may have influenced officials with its allegedly one-sided approach.

He doesn’t specify where exactly, or in what programmes, RTE is meant to have ‘talked up’ Donegal at Mayo’s expense. An RTE spokesperson could not be contacted at time of going to press.

“There was a lot of commentary from some media sources that was factually incorrect and, quite frankly, idiotic stuff,” Horan blasted.

“In a two-horse race, if you have the national broadcaster proclaiming about one team and one team only, that’s going to influence officials and various things around the game.

“There should be no place for that type of biased discussion. It was completely unwarranted and incorrect. We’ll eventually be proven right. Did it impact the game? It’s hard to say,” he said.

In a more general broadside against the national media, Horan cited the analysis ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin as evidence of a tendency to talk down Mayo’s chances.

“Pretty much any big game we play is always about the other team in the media. If you were paranoid, you might think that the representation we get from the national media isn’t fair or reflective, but you’d waste your time if you went down that road,” he said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Horan dismissed the notion that he got his marking match-ups wrong against Donegal and blamed basic mistakes instead for the winners’ early two-goal salvo.

He also admitted his players were negatively affected by a statement released by Conor Mortimer’s family just after he quit the Mayo squad ahead of their Connacht final showdown with Sligo, describing it as a “shock” and “unhelpful” to preparation.