That incident involving Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy and a section of the McHale Park crowd has made the Indo this morning and, for anyone who is even remotely concerned about our good name within the GAA world, it makes for uncomfortable reading. When I saw the incident initially (on the TV highlights on Sunday evening, not at the match itself), it looked like an amusing conclusion to what had been a tight contest, with our tormentor of old getting a bragging from some of the home supporters for failing to secure the draw and Star being a bit too animated in expressing his frustration. Indeed, I mentioned the incident on those very terms in the post on the match.
As the Indo report confirms, however, there was more to it than that. Some boneheaded gobshite in the crowd apparently threw a piece of wood at Donaghy and he has since confirmed that he was hit by a coin earlier in the game, as were a number of other players, keeper Diurmuid Murphy included.
Donaghy has now apologised for the v-signs but, in light of this incident, it’s hard to blame him for the way that he reacted. As Mayo fans, we may not like what Donaghy has done to us on the field of play but he is a sportsman and a damn fine one at that. We always pride ourselves on being good supporters – and also take pride when, as so often happens, others refer to us as such – but we can take no pride in this incident. Who were these fucking idiots? Did anyone see this happening? If they did – and surely someone must have seen something – why didn’t they tell the stewards or, better still, the Guards?
This is the sort of cretinous behaviour that leads to criminal charges and lifetime bans from football grounds across the water. It’s also the kind of thuggery that destroys the good name of all the supporters of a team that attracts (and, by their inaction, collectively condones) this kind of loutish following. We therefore owe it to ourselves, as well as to the wider GAA world, to ensure that this kind of imbecilic carry-on isn’t tolerated and, where we see it happening, to make sure that the culprits are identified and dealt with appropriately. It goes without saying that these are the kind of supporters the county can do without.