Vote goes McEntee's way as he holds onto position
Andy McEntee was given the go-ahead to manage the Meath senior football team for another year at least at a Co Board meeting on Tuesday night.
The Co Committee had put forward a proposal that he should be removed but this was rejected at a meeting in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim.
In all 74 votes were counted but one was spoiled. The voters were made up mostly of club delegates and the rest Co Board officers.
They opted, by 46 votes to 27, to reject the proposal put forward thus giving the manager a vote of confidence.
It was a resounding rejection of any recommendation that the manager should be removed at this moment in time.
McEntee had been given a three-year term in 2019 to be reviewed after two years and last week the Co Committee surprisingly voted, eight-seven, that he should not be given another year.
During the debate that unfolded tonight in Trim, delegates forcefully expressed their views on the issue.
Some felt this was not the time to replace the manager of the senior team.
David Harford of Kilbride said it was now "very late in the day" to be voting on a manager when preparations for a new season should be already underway.
"We are little bit of a laughing stock to the outside world, that's my view," he said.
Michael Finucane, the Nobber delegate, spoke passionately about the situation saying this was not the time to remove the manager as the process will have to begin to get a replacement quickly and that could lead to further problems.
"It would be a mish-mash, a disaster becasue when these things like that are done quickly mistakes are made," he said.
"Timing is of the essence and in this case we've got it all wrong."
Some felt an open ballot should be held while others rejected that view.
Tony McEntee, the Curraha delegate and brother of the manager, said that the eight who voted in last week's Co Committee meeting should be asked "to stand up and explain why we are here."
He spoke about how, in his view, "a coup" had been formulated to remove the manager.
There were other supporters of an open ballot including Referees' Co-ordinator Frank Gallogly.
However Michael Heery of St Brigid's said a secret ballot was essential and suggested a showing of hands to decide on any issue was actually breaking the rules.
"I think if there is a show of hands the blame game will start and the last thing we want is anything to come out of this meeting like that."
Former Co Board chairman Barney Allen agreed adding: "A secret ballot is the only true vote you will ever get."
Ironically a show of hands was required to indicate whether the decisive vote should be secret or not. The majority voted for a secret ballot.
The votes were collected and they showed that of the 74 who voted, 46 said "no" to the proposal to remove Andy McEntee as manager against the 27 who said "yes."
Those who felt he should stay on were, no doubt, relieved on a night of drama in Trim.
It was also confirmed by the Co Board that Nick Weir will be ratified for a two-year term as the Meath senior hurling manager with his backroom team made up of Stephen Clynch, David Reilly and coach Seoirse Bulfin who has worked closely with Davy Fitzgerald at Wexford and Waterford.
The appointment of Bulfin is seen as a major acquisition for the Royal County hurling management team.