JAMES HORAN'S gripe with RTE has escalated into all-out blitzkrieg of words with controversial pundit Joe Brolly and after the pair opened fire on each other over the weekend.
Brolly, in his weekly Sunday newspaper column, accused Horan of being "mealy mouthed" for not identifying the former Derry star as the source of his angst in a recent interview under the headline: 'Oh, just cop on James, or you'll never win an All- Ireland with Mayo'.
Horan hit back yesterday, accusing Brolly of bias against Mayo and suggesting RTE should have censured his analysis during the back end of last year's championship when he singled out the Connacht side in a section of The Sunday Game by using examples of 'strategic fouling,' commentary he felt had unduly influenced officials ahead of the All-Ireland final.
"My comment was that Joe Brolly was very selective in his commentary on Mayo and it was completely, in my opinion, biased as an analyst," Horan countered after his team had been beaten by Leitrim in their seasonal FBD League opener by 0-9 to 0-8 in Ballinamore yesterday.
"I think he should have been checked by RTE, I think his comments were targeted against Mayo," he said, adding that Mayo had been no more guilty of the crime than any other of the Sam Maguire contenders on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
"If you take any of the quarter-final games last year, I would challenge Joe to go back and look at some of those and see what the foul count was. What was his motivation for just selecting Mayo?"
Horan insisted his original comments had not been influenced by the All-Ireland final result and reiterated that Donegal were worthy champions.
"It has nothing to do with Donegal and their All-Ireland victory. They were fantastic, absolutely deserved their victory. I just would like to know what Joe's motivation was in selecting one team, and one team only, when there were other games that had far higher foul counts in them?"