Stand up for the boys in green and red


The Auld Triangle’ is normally a song I sing with great passion on drunken nights out and family occasions where a sing-song has erupted. The Dubliners, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey – many have given it a blast and, as an avid music lover, I will gladly listen to any rendition that is put before me. The latest version I heard will live long in my memory and not for good reason neither.

My hands had been clasped together and tied to my face since the ball had been thrown in the air at five o’clock. The only time they were allowed to move from this position was to applaud but they would re-take their stiff stance immediately after. As the game grew old, they slowly moved towards my eyes and I spent most of the second half peeping out through them, like a kid using a cushion to protect himself from a horror movie.

They had been great servants to me throughout the game, clapping, gesturing, punching the air in delight and their last duty of the day was to wipe the flood of tears from my eyes at the final whistle. As I did this, the blue smoke rose from Hill 16 as the stereo in Croke Park blared out one of my favourite songs.

I’ll never forget the noise level from the Dubs when the song reached round to the “Jingle Jangle” section. It was like they had just made the biggest amplifier in the history of music, and it was cranked up to 10. I knew in my heart and soul though, as loud as they were, if The Green and Red of Mayo had been playing, we would have ripped a hole in the sky with the sheer volume.

I stuck around and applauded Diarmuid Connolly and Stephen Cluxton as they expressed their sheer delight. It was enough to see Sam being raised aloft once so, as they passed the cup around, I made my way for the exit. The tears were constant and I wasn’t alone, men, women, children all with heads in hands, sniffing and snuffling.

As I turned a corner, I was met with a big Aidan O’Shea ‘club and county’ banner. This was coupled by an overheard question from a Mayo boy no older than ten years old. “Dad, will we ever win do you think?” I remember asking my cousin the same question at the homecoming in ’06. The father responded with the same answer my cousin did. “Someday”.

I looked up at the banner and shook my head in disbelief. I know I say it every time but I really thought this was our year.

That was the second of two times this year I shook my head in disbelief, the first was on the 18th of June. I have that date bookmarked in my head for some reason. Nobody could have envisaged the journey this team would undergo following that defeat to the Tribesmen.

The anger and hurt of losing another final was overshadowed when I thought about this over the course of the past week. We were treated to such an entertaining summer of sport, we cannot complain or look back on this campaign in anger or regret. Nobody expected us to reach a final, nor did they expect us to put the Dubs up against a wall for 140 minutes of football.

This campaign has brought me memories both weird and wonderful which will never leave my side. O’Shea’s penalty award against Fermanagh, Diarmuid’s delicious solo goal against Kildare, an early outing in Croke Park against Westmeath, Clarke’s Kung-fu kick style clearance in the dying seconds against Tyrone, Cillian’s equaliser, Keegan’s goal.

I had the privilege of meeting Rob Hennelly on a train down from Dublin when I was in my first year of college. He had pre-booked a seat which happened to be positioned directly across the table from me. My journalistic side kicked into action and within a couple of minutes, I was hounding the poor man with questions. He followed me on Twitter and Facebook and told me he’d keep in touch.

He does, frequently messaging me, congratulating me on any articles I have published that he happens to come across. The man is a gentleman. If you don’t believe me, just remember back to earlier this year when he was first on board to defend U21 Cork ‘keeper Anthony Casey. Similar to Hennelly, he made a human error in an All-Ireland final.

Hennelly told Casey that the mistake would not “define him or his career by any means”. That moment in Hennelly’s career will not define him either.

He is a fantastic ‘keeper and we are blessed to have two of the country’s finest in one county. I was on hand to message Rob following the defeat on Sunday and if you are able to, I encourage you all to do likewise. We have all made an error in judgment, a mistake, had a lapse in concentration in our life.

Journalists have the power to spread a message to hundreds, thousands, millions of people at the click of a button. I am not ashamed, angered or upset by Rob’s mistake but I did feel all of those things when I read Gavin Cummiskey’s rating of him in the Irish Times the following day.

Following that, I stopped critically and harshly analysing the replay and the players. As a Mayo man, it is unfair to judge any player by a mistake they have made. As an aspiring journalist, it is a clear goal to stay away from any realm which puts me under the same light as Gavin Cummiskey.

My brother-in-law to be, is a Dub and proud (and loud too like them all). As we sat down for breakfast together on Sunday morning, I expressed how unfair it was – always the bridesmaid, never the bride. I give up, that’s it, I’m done.

Bullshit, says he, you’ll be the first man standing in MacHale Park come Spring. He’s right and all. The day that the prospect of meeting Dublin, Kerry and the likes in the league doesn’t spur me on to get behind the boys is the day that I will give it up for good.

We’ve been through hell us Mayo supporters but every new year, it’s like a reset button. 65 years becomes 66 but still we rally together, travelling the length and breadth of the country cheering on our team. We don’t know how lucky we are as fans, not one summer has passed in the last five years that we haven’t at least reached the semi-final.

Mayo has a fantastic group of players, a great manager and background staff and the best supporters in the whole of Ireland. Our day will come. It wasn’t 2016, it may or may not be 2017, but it will come.

54 thoughts on “Stand up for the boys in green and red

  1. This one was the worst one yet, I can definitely say that for myself. But I’ve never been as optimistic about the next year as I am now. That’s the paradox.

    2017 will come, we don’t have to think about that now. Live in the present, enjoy life whatever you get up to.

    We’ll all be back next Feb, it’ll be class. Road trips ahead. Love it.

    Maigh Eo Abu!

  2. Very well put together Darra I know we have no trophys for the year but by god we have some memories I will for ever be grateful to a very special bunch of players I’m 55 years going to Mayo games went to most all ireland finals in the 70s and 80s use to say will I ever see the day Mayo in that parade behind the artane boys band on final day now we’re spoiled you must remember there can be only one winner I was 2 days old when they won in 51 used to love to listen to my dad talk about 50 and 51 God rest him I want to say a big thank you to these fine bunch of mayo players our day in the sun is not far away a good saying trophys collect dust over time memories remain a life time

  3. Hennelly is a good guy a very decent guy and I wish him well. The harsh and sad reality is tho If we are ever to win Sam we need our best players playing In their best positions. And we need scoring forwards. I think Rochford will be keenly aware what we need next year and the type of forwards we need I’d be happy to see him nurture new forwards even if this means we don’t make it back to a final for a few years. Back to Hennelly we all have bad days he’s a good guy I don’t want to see him in goals for Mayo again but I wish him well and if I met him I would tell him to keep his head high and not look back

  4. As bad as this year was I never want to experience 2004 & 2006 again when we were a laughing stock. Losing in 2008 was such a relief. This squad is different, the mentality is different. Having read Keith Duggan’s article in the IT confirms this.

  5. Well written Darragh – a good writer.
    I love and enjoy every minute I follow Mayo….what else would you be doing, following the game you like and your home county playing it at the top level.

    But we are at the risk of becoming way to sentimental here and in the media, and to me that is a dangerous thing. I was shocked to say the least after Kerry lost to Dublin this year with the reaction from Kerry folk and media especially…’they died in their boots trying to beat one of the greatest teams ever’….my feelings were that that was so not what I had come to expect from Kerry, unbecoming of them if you like! To me it sounded so defeatist.

    Think of what other counties would think is the default position from Mayo down through the years? I don’t need to say it. But let’s not fall back into that default position as I hoped that was changing in the last few years. At the end of the day, we have played Dublin and Kerry in the 7 biggest games we have played in the last 4 years…we have been in a winning position in all of them, yet we haven’t won one of them. That’s the reality. We may have developed a harder core in Mayo football since 2011, but maybe not just hard enough. So lets move on, leave the sentiment behind and make sure we don’t leave one behind us again – and that will take some very hard work and difficult decisions.

    The guy is an a**hole, but let’s not be giving Brolly fuel for his fire….he might say it in a nasty way, but there was maybe a little truth in his article on Sunday I hate to admit

  6. I agree that it was a little shocking to hear all the glorification of Kerrys efforts this year with no questioning of their manager. Dublin wiped the floor with them 13-5 in the second half, and that is died with their boots on?
    The boots weren’t even on the right guys anyways with no game time given to Killian Spillane, Brendan OSullivan and yet a clearly past it Donaghy got loads of game time?
    On no measure is Donaghy a better player than Killian Spillane over the past year.
    Putting Paul Murphy up front then, with good forwards kept on the bench and bringing on a 19 year old at wing back who got horsed out of it a few times which was no suprise.

  7. Well Done Darragh, that’s a very well written piece.

    At the end of the day the Dubs were just a small bit better than us. They beat Kerry by 2 points and us by 1 point after a replay. That is where we are at. We probably still have a one year head start on Kerry before their underage players, who won three minor All-Ireland titles in a row, start to come through en masse. Next year’s U21 championship will be vital. We have never won two underage titles in a row at minor or U21 level, so it would be great if Michael Solan could achieve that next year, win a second title.

    The pressure will kinda be off Dublin next year. They have their two in row from this year and four titles in six years in total. For them they are now in bonus territory, maybe that will take a bit of an edge off them. Tyrone will be looking to improve next year and be more competitive, as will a few other teams.

    For us in 2017, we have as good a chance as any team and a better chance than most. You would have to think that with the continued progress that we are making each year, that it has to bear fruit at some stage. Our defence improved this year, let’s hope our forward division will see the same kind of improvements next year. More mobility in midfield will be key also as well as strengthening our bench to ensure that we end up with a strong 15 at the time in the game, when it’s there to be won coming down the home stretch. For us we should probably just concentrate on being the best team in Ireland in 2017 and not worry as mach about what Dublin etc. are doing.

  8. I lodged a complaint with RTE for allowing Ciaran Whelan use the Sunday Game after the first match to start the campaign to get Lee Keegan sent off in the replay. For anyone interested, here is their response.

    Dear Mr ……

    I wish to acknowledge your email of 20.09.16 and thank you for taking the trouble to write to us.

    Ciaran Whelan is a former Dublin footballer and All Star award winner. He is employed by The Sunday Game for analysis and to give his expert opinion on all things GAA.

    He is always fair and balanced and on this occasion he was same.

    Thank you for your email and I hope you enjoy our coverage.

    Kind Regards,


    Sports Executive- GAA


  9. That’s fair enough from RTE I don’t think Ciaran Whelan said anything that Kevin McStay would not have said if he were on the panel.

  10. I too lodged a complaint with RTE on the 19/09 following Ciaran Whelan’s biased coverage of the Lee Keegan/ Diarmuid Connolly side show in the first game. Here too is the response I received this morning:

    “Dear …

    I wish to acknowledge your email of 19.09.16 and thank you for taking the trouble to write to us.

    Ciaran Whelan is a former Dublin footballer and All Star award winner. He is employed by The Sunday Game for analysis and to give his expert opinion on all things GAA.

    He is always fair and balanced and on this occasion he was same.

    Thank you for your email and I hope you enjoy our coverage.

    Kind Regards,

    Paul Byrnes
    Sports Executive- GAA

    How on earth is the fact that Ciaran Whelan is a former Dublin footballer and All Star award winner relevant? He is a shite analyst with blue tinted glasses, that is the point! RTÉ would want to cop on fairly sharply or we’ll all be making the move to Sky where at least the coverage is fair, balanced and the analysis much more technically advanced than that of RTÉ.

  11. If Whelan is fair and balanced why didn’t he highlight the pull back on Vaughan by Connolly as one clear example?

  12. That is a shite response from RTE x 2. Looks like it took 15 days to get a reply and when you did it was a copied and pasted general response to another complaint.

    “Our time has come”. They didn’t even respond individually to your complaint. Just a prepared response. Not good enough from the national broadcaster.

    The contents of their response shows you what you are up against. They cant see whats wrong with themselves.

    “He is always fair and balanced”. Yeah right. Load a shite really.

    Write back and demand a proper response.

  13. Are sky renewing their coverage next year? I know there were a lot of complaints that they got the coverage as it is PPV but anybody who has seen their coverage in comparison to RTE cannot say its not better.

  14. Ex players should not be panelists when their teams are playing.
    Its impossible for them not to be biased ..
    The RTE panel are extremley poor. they wouldnt survive on non subsidised channel

    Brolly while quite a good analyst of the game is a narcissist
    Spillane is a mumbling egomaniac. We all know how many AI medal you have!!
    Martin Carney says nothing ever
    Tommy Carr see imaginery matches in his head while commentating ..

    O’Rourke is OK .. somewhat balanced
    McStay was OK but was over the top with the rule book speeches ..
    Ciaran Whelan actually isnt that bad in my opinion but can do Dublin matches ..
    Tomas O Se again is Average .. no real tactical insight

    Dessie Dolan is a cure for insomnia

    Fair play for writing in lads but the generic response said it all about RTE ..

  15. That’s a disgraceful response from a so-called national broadcaster. But what would you expect from an Irish state run body with overpaid, privileged employees and never mind considering the standard of pundits/commentators that rte employ. Tommy “bore you to death with incorrect and irrelevant facts” Carr, Mumbling Des “slap face, who ate all the buns” Cahill, Ger “he disects the posts from the top of the right” Canning, Dessie Dolan – f.f.s., no disrespect but a former Westmeath player lecturing about All Ireland football finals?
    I was disgusted when the GAA pulled that stroke of giving tv rights to SKY but this year has proven that a fresh new approach is welcomed and badly needed. Especially when compared to the tired, dated, depressing, same-old same-old shite out of rte and the Sunday Same. And don’t get me started on that little twit Marty! His attempts to portray himself as the modern Michael O’Hehir are embarrassingly pathetic. I’d sooner change the Marty squad to the Firing squad.
    I don’t have SKY and I refuse to watch the Sunday Same or any rte coverage. I’m fortunate enough to be able to go to the games. You can’t beat being there.

  16. Very well written,we are spoilt on this site,with you Willie Joe John Cuffe and others,I believe that we have a squad of thirty players,plus the same amount of backroom staff,we win together and lose together,it is easy in hindsight to e smart,I feel that we may have made a mistake,but the stats said that the possession gained by Dublin in the first game needed to be addressed,I watched the first game several times and felt the kick outs were going to the same side and Dublin would target that area,so was not unhappy with the decision,I have not had the pleasure of meeting either goalkeeper,or indeed any of the squad,so have no interest in putting one player before another,I just know that they are both fine goalkeepers so hope both are back next year.on the manager I believe he is the brightest young manager in the game not afraid to back his judgement,and will improve us next year,and I wont pay any attention to rumours about cliques,since James Horan took over players have been picked on merit not on location,which might not always have been the case,Stephen Rochford will not be influenced by anybody he will stand or fall by his decisions,he will win the cup next year,up Mayo

  17. Ger Canning is quite a good commentator I find. With commentary the actual tone and accent of the persons voice are very important, I think most find his voice agreeable. He has a decent flow to his speech. Commentators have to have certain lined up one liners, it’s not as if they can be pausing and correcting themselves and saying “Let me see now”.
    Dessie Dolan by the way has three All Ireland medals where he was the chief game winner for those teams at minor, u21 and freshers, but would agree that he doesn’t provide much insight.
    I find Billie Joe is the best of the lot along with Jim McGuinness.

  18. Nice honest and heartfelt piece Daragh and well done! It echoes again the feelings of so many as the wisps of that blue smoke and the hint of sulphur made their way from the erupting volcano on the hill all the way down to me in the the Davin. In my mind it already
    had blanketed our lovely green plains from Ballindine to Ballina. And the greatest sickener of all was the immediacy of that song on the tannoy… it was a shock. The game hardly seemed to be over when it burst forth to pollute our air as though the whole affair had been just a formality.I’m afraid thats not at all a favourite song of mine! But I’m only me! The accompanying caption of course was … we beat ye and now here,take that as well!

    Moving on and into next Sept. and what will possibly be a return to this same arena, I am so bold as to be imagining the scene….and which of us don’t ….we are so practiced and well drilled in the art!! I won’t elaborate on what I’m seeing but I’d pray if I do,that our song won’t be the Green and Red but something more representative of the ages that have elapsed since 50/51…. a combination of West Awake and Moonlight. Or even one or the other! And then you can follow up with the “Tuam Song” , a medley in other words for we won’t be in any great hurry to depart the scene!
    But then again,I’m only me!

  19. Paul Byrnes from RTE – isnt he the chap that John Casey quoted as having told him that Mayo “waited in the tunnel for 6 minutes for the dubs” before the drawn game, which we now know to be complete horsemanure?.

  20. JP… can’t go with Ger Canning….not in the gaa mould at all…seems more at home with the soccer game for some reason.Tone is not important if insight judgement/reading of game is absent and it is fairly non existent with poor Ger and he does have a couple of phrases and inappropriate crescendos that make me kinda cringe. But sure lookit thats RTE…it’s what we have. You could go on for ages being critical but I think Pebblesmeller says it all above.
    I would agree however with your choice of BJP and Mc G even though the latter goes on a bit!

  21. Great piece of emotive writing Darragh.. It’s hard to beat Jim McGuiness analysis, if fact I would pay to listen to Jim McGuiness talk about any subject, he has the quality of voice, factual and can be inspirational,. The rest are playing catch-up. I attend almost every league and championship match that Mayo play in. So rarely have I to listen to Martin Carney, or Tommy Carr live when Mayo are playing. Torturous, inaccurate, both of them, they both irritate the hell out of me, when watching a live RTE TV covered match, Brolly is all about Brolly, I’m are talking about Brolly and that’s the whole idea. I normally listen to RTE radio coverage of big championship matchs involving Mayo when attending a match , Martin beag McHugh and Bernard Flynn are the best in my opinion… Now to talk about our own home grown, pub expert’s who almost never attend a match….. I was talking to two of my neighbours in the pub on Sunday night, I’ll call them Tom & Mick, Tom is in his 60s and Mick is in his 70s.Tom, neither ever played a game of any type of football or any sport at all. in their whole lives.Tom & Mick don’t like each other really, but at times pretend they do, both belong to the same political party and benefited plenty down the year’s, Both are jealous of each other because both think the other got things that strictly speaking were not entitled to, and both are right… But when Tom wants a lift home from the pub with Mick, Tom agrees with every word Mick says.. So the jury of. these two expert’s,. has decided.. The Breaffy lad’s decided that Hennelly was going to play, And that Rochford is not fit for the job. In fact SOS and Aiden are over rated as well. Big strong men alright. But why wasn’t Freeman played? Any how none of them, would compete with the mighty men that were about in the sixties and seventies, who could and I quote ‘cycle to the bog, milk 8 cow’s by hand, throw a 2 hundred weigh bags of fertiliser onto the horse cart and. in the evening beat all those silver spooned, well fed St Jarlets boys on the local pitch. Sure back in them days you had to be a doctors, solicitors son or maybe a priest in the family to play for Mayo. And there is where it is all. wrong with Mayo, it’s. still the same according to our two expert’s. Neither mentioned anything about being realeted to a TD. That wouldn’t suit either of them… I was worse to be arguing with them, I had a few pints. I pointed out a few facts, facts never made any difference to these men, they never had to worry about facts, being related to a TD in. the sixties and. seventies , you didn’t need to worry about facts and they weren’t going to change now. I. came to the conclusion that they were actually glad Mayo had lost, such was their criticisms of so many of the Mayo team. Hennelly, Rochford and somewhat bizzarly Connor Mortimer were the villans of the piece,… Mick eventually left giving Tom his neighbour and cousin a lift, I could still hear the two of them talking outside the window of the pub, ‘Nice little office boys’ a Mick is describing the Mayo team, of today when comparing them to the men who could throw the two hundred weigh bags of fertiliser into the horse cart… Now Mr Brolly beat that.

  22. I also wrote to RTE but my letter was to inform them of my decision to renew with sky sports subscription and not for the premiership mind you but for the GAA coverage. I explained to them that I had no option as they’re own coverage had reached an all time low this year and listed the irrefutable evidence. RTE never replied to my letter.

    Nicely written article darragh but I don’t agree that we have two of the best goalkeepers in Ireland.

  23. Well done Leantimes and I hope you don’t give up the drink anytime soon. As well, you need to put a preservation order on that pair!

  24. Inbetweener..’a preservation order ‘on them? . Theese two could teach the’ Healy – Rae’s a thing or two,. they are well able to preserve themselves ..

  25. Well done “NiallMac1983”, and to “Just outside Ballagh” and to “Our time will come” for writing in to RTE. Fair play to the 3 of ye.

    As far as i can see, one of ye received no response at all and the other 2 of ye got a generic response which did not address the points ye made in your letters. Just get fobbed off with a bog standard automatic reply.

    I wouldn’t let these fuckers get away with that. I’d take it all the way until you receive a genuine response and an apology for the awful standard of their earlier duplicate reply to each of ye.

    No country in western Europe would tolerate the national broadcaster just brushing aside a complaint from a viewer with such arrogance. The reply ye received is an insult to your intelligence. I would report these fuckers to the broadcasting standards committee or to whatever equivalent exists in Ireland. Or ye can do nothing and let them get away with it.

  26. Jim Flag don’t worry I’m not letting this rest:

    Re: Complaint re Sunday Game 18/09/16

    Dear Mr Byrnes,

    Thank you for your reply. I have a couple of issues with it however.

    Firstly, I know for a fact that your email content is a generic reply sent to numerous people who took the time and effort to complain specifically and individually regarding the Sunday Game highlight show broadcast on 18/09/16. I think that the least people deserve from our “National broadcaster” is specific and individual attention to their respective concerns/complaints.

    Secondly, the following article published in the Irish Examiner on Wednesday 21/09/16 indicates that RTE incorrectly stated that no complaints had been received regarding the Sunday game highlights show on 18/09/16. That was incorrect as I know that at least two other complaints, along with my own were made.

    Thirdly, in relation to your response I don’t see how Ciaran Whelan being a former all star award winner is relevant? That doesn’t mean he’s a good analyst. Further you state “He (Ciaran Whelan) is always fair and balanced and on this occasion he was the same”. I disagree wholeheartedly and so do the others who complained regarding his biased coverage on this occasion both directly to RTE and loudly via Social Media.

    Finally in my opinion (and that of countless others), Ciaran Whelan instigated a media campaign on your Sunday Game highlight show which many other former Dublin GAA players followed in targeting Lee Keegan and labelling him as cynical ahead of the replayed game. Surprise, surprise as I’m sure you are aware it worked and Lee Keegan was indeed black carded in the replay. Your panel on the highlight show on 01/10 (including Ciaran Whelan) amazingly acknowledged that it was a harsh and unwarranted black card! Akin to pronouncing someone as innocent after they’d been executed!

    My point here is that RTE has an enormous responsibility to both the viewer and GAA players to ensure debate is balanced. It blatantly wasn’t that night. As I stated in my previous email a solution would be to have either no pundits from competing Counties or one from each. Former players are going to be biased in favour of their own County, that’s a fact and RTE must ensure as our “National broadcaster” that any debate is balanced.

    To simply ignore the issue and state very brashfully that “He is always fair and balanced and on this occasion he was the same” really isn’t good enough.

    Initially I was categorically against the GAA selling TV rights to Sky but unless the standard of RTE coverage improves, you are going to lose many viewers in the coming years to the more contemporary, technically advanced and fair analysis which Sky provides.

    This is the first complaint I have ever made to any organisation but it is one I feel very strongly about. RTE is our national broadcaster and extends far beyond the border of County Dublin.

    I look forward to your further specific response to my complaint,

    Yours sincerely,

  27. Jim Flag – my reply to RTE

    Dear Paul

    He called for a Mayo player to be sent off in the replay which was the start of campaign joined by other players in the following days. The worst part of it was that this campaign worked and they managed to get Lee Keegan black carded for what was not a black card offence in the replay.

    For RTE to stand over this type of use of the airwaves by the Dublin PR machine is a disgrace.

    At least Joe Brolly stood up to Ciaran Whelan and called this for what it was on your highlights programme after the replay – Dublin Dublin Dublin Dublin!

    No doubt you enjoyed the match in The Hill yourself!


  28. John Mc Hale …that priest who was in Foxford was a Canon Shreenan and he had a younger brother a priest in St Nathys in 1958 where he was called Shrinan or shrynan with a fada on the a!
    That’s all for the present!

    But now what do you think of this. I met a woman out in Doona Ballycroy yesterday who told me that when a whale became beached, as one did in recent times out there, it was a bad omen. I said to her for the fun , does that mean Mayo won’t win the all Ireland next year? And she said …” Not for another ten years anyways”. It sounded a bit hit and miss to me.

    Now that’s what I heard when I was passing the road back!

  29. Cannot understand why County Board was so silent on the Keegan affair.In fact a lot of people were very quiet including past players.
    Also silent in relation to officials from Leinster
    We will be just as quiet in terms of footballer of the year which Fenton despite an average replay showing will win.

  30. Over the past few days the Dublin PR machine is back singing the virtues of Diarmuid Connolly and saying that it is ridiculous that he has not been nominated for POTY again . I am sick of all this Horse s…. Reason that Diarmuid Connolly does not get nominated is that each time he comes into the home straight, he runs into Leeroy who basically humiliates him in their personal duel.

    The Dublin folk cannot accept the fact that Keegan is the superior player and if I am ever again in the company of a Dub singing the virtues of Connolly, I will say ‘Poor Diarmuid, he needs the protection of the media to help him in his duel with Keegan and I will wave the imaginary Black card’-pathetic, one of the most disgraceful decisions that has been made in an All Ireland Final….

  31. Sinabhuil, don’t think that I was in your local on Sunday night, the conversation did actually take place, of course , what they said about Mayo, and various Mayo players past and present and management was worse than what I relate here on this site, as. Tom & Mick I refer to is not their actual names, but these pair are masters of being wise in hindsight. In fairness to Mick he actually went to the Match V Galway, but has the hump since because he paid full price for entry and didn’t know until it was too late that he was entitled to, senior citizens discount… The problem with the two of them is that they are actually delighted Mayo lost, and they particularly don’t like a number of the Mayo players, for reasons nothing to do with football. There is a word in German for this it’s ‘Schadenfreude’.. There are many more like this pair, and I heard them talking down the year’s, every time Mayo lost, which was every year…….. F’ deeling, I imagine it’s my previous post that your talking about, when you ask if people who didn’t play football are not entitled to opinion, because I said Tom or Mick never played any sport.. Well of course, anyone is entitled to express their opinions, whether they played football or not. But you have take into account the known facts.

  32. I don’t think that anyone in the know can honestly consider Connolly for POTY. For me personally, he doesn’t even make the top five players for Dublin this Year, much less in the whole country.

    I’d have them at:
    O Sullivan.

    Taking off the blue shades, I’d be looking at:

    I’m sure I’ve missed an obvious one.

  33. Lads instead of complaining to RTE, why don’t u just stop paying the TV licence. When the ransom comes the post. Send it back with ur complaint along with a ‘fk you, I won’t be paying’.
    I have to say the best lift I got since the final was a couple of days later when a TV licence inspector knocked on my door advising that I didn’t have a licence (tell me something i don’t know). He gave the usual offence spiel and court appearance and then asked my name. I laughed and said whatever name u like and shut the door in his face.
    They will have to do an awful lot better than a biased ape like ciaran whelan to get money out of me?

  34. What’s even more galling to me is that I have yet to see any actual video-evidence showing Lee illegally marking any players this year, be it Cavanagh, Quinlivan, or Connnolly. In fact, it was Connolly who was clearly seen blocking Lee. You couldn’t make it up.
    Rte are an absolute disgrace and were content to let Whelan unfairly smear Lee. If Wheelo had any kind of pride in what Dublin are all about, you’d think he’d try and encourage Connolly, his fellow county man, to go out and and man-up to Lee in a fair and square way and beat him at football – and try and spur him on to go and put and end to the utter humilation that Lee continues to inflict on him in their one-to-one battles. Has honour and glory now been completely removed from Gaa? Winning at all costs….okay, I get that, but come on, there has to be a line somewhere. I think that line is when outside interventions are made on a team/players behalf, and when it is blatantly unbalanced.
    Essentially Wheelo pleaded for mercy for Diarmo, and the mercy was granted. And the best player in Ireland at present got the line.
    I was appalled to see Deegan, at first, clearly gesturing that Connolly’s shirt was tugged. Not Pullled down. Tugged. There was no black card coming. Not enough is being made of this and if the loss in this instance was Dublin’s, can you imagine Whelan’s and Dublin’s response?! The Hill changed Deegan’s mind, and the clincher was the wailing that he undoubtedly heard all week long. How utterly embarressing for Deegan on a personal note when he reflects on the match and that decision. I agree with Jim McGuinness that at this point Deegan seemed to have lost it, “he was gone”. It was written all over his face the realisation of what he had just done.
    Dublin have their medals of course and all of this won’t matter to them. But it should matter, especially when a cynical campaign like that was given prime airing on tv and and gained momentum as a result througout the following week, a malevolent campaign which ultimately influenced a key decision.
    We’ll never know if it changed the result, but a player in that kind of form, offering the kind of attacking threat that he was clearly posing, can not go off without significantly impacting how things pan out, especially in such a tight match. Small margins indeed.

    Mayo will no doubt ‘get on with it’, just like we’re supposed to and just like we always do.

  35. Connolly is now a joke…… pathetic figure who goes out and gets the better of inferior players in Club and Leinster Championship matches, hope all you Dublin fans reading this….

    POTY my ar..

  36. Lads ye’re not standing up for Mayo, ye’re just whinging. Ye can be sure our players won’t be making any excuses. We lost by one get over it. Dublin were probably marginally better at least in home straight of the replay when frees kept us in it and 2 of Dubs subs made a big impact. They were a bit more cynical with off the ball stuff in both games though we weren’t completely angels either but not sure how much impact any of that had. It’s a case of playing relentlessly to the final whistle which our players did and we can be proud of them. Last year we found some backs with very good potential (some of whom didn’t get big game time), this year hopefully some forwards emerge.
    Curious no one has posted players update to watch from the club championship.

  37. @Shuffly
    Small Players scoring from play update (u21 players):
    – Liam Irwin scored 7 (2f) for Breaffy.
    – Brian Reape scored 2-5 (4f) for Moy Davitts
    – Fionan Duffy/Conor Loftus dont know haven’t seen a match report but they usually get a big percentage of Crossmolinas scores.
    I think people know the clubs of most of the U21 or fringe lads so no real benefit posting players to watch.

  38. Keegan was Player Of The Year by a million miles. He shut down the best forwards and would have an AllIreland medal had the dublin media not got mr deegan in their pocket. His goal in the replay was superbly taken and worth watching over again, and at best he should have received a yellow for the connolly incicdent but connolly was being roasted and well beaten and had to do whatever cheating and whining to get rid of him.
    A hollow win for connolly, he has met someone that owns him and cannot deal with it, thatll take the shine off his medal.

  39. Diarmuid Connolly, if you concentrate on what goes on between the white line’s is Dublin’s most talented player. For me he’s the only players that could hope to compete with Keegan for PotY, but he’s so far behind the Westport man. The administration of the GAA has allowed virtually preordaned results for the benefit of Dublin. It now has as little credibility as pre the fall of the Berlin Wall, When Eastern Europe drug cheats were allowed win every thing impunity . In the history of sport, can anyone reading here, and very many people do, point to a team the ever got to play virtually every match at home, in a Cup competition that is Knockout for the last 3 rounds for over 10 year’s? . The only time they played away in over 10 year’s, was to play Laois this year, but Laois did not get to play at home. A great many Laois supporter’s boycotted the event. The Leinster GAA board, and various Leinster county board’s should be ashamed of themselves to allow this to happen . I know Stephen Clluxton thanked all the Dublin fan’s for following them all over the country in their quest for glory, I’d like to ask Stephen where did they follow Dublin to, apart from their one trip to Nolan Park, in over 10 year’s? The last time they travelled prior to that they managed a one point win over Longford, and prior to that Kerry beat them in. a replay in. Semple Stadium. . There is no doubt that Dublin benefited from so many dubious referee calls, in the Semi versus Kerry, in the final minute , Kevin McMananan has a full frontal challenge on Peter Crowley in the final minute, This is not an ordinary foul, no its a quiet blatant Red Card offence, it’s well within range of one of the best Freetakers in Ireland who is now on the pitch! but for Dublin it’s a turnover, a a fine point, scored by Connolly to win by two. Ciaran Wheelan and RTE, where’s your balanced reporting? , I’ll tell you what Ciaran Wheelan telling us, that Kevin McMananan should be in line for PotY award. Those of ye who advocate not paying your TV licence, the word ‘Boycott’ came into being in Mayo, Anyhow it won’t affect me not paying it, I haven’t for year’s, and I’m not minded to either!

  40. Excellent article
    Don’t be shocked at Rte standing by their man Whelan, what else would one expect from Des & his sniggering panel, where we lost it I think in the pr stakes that our pundits in our local & national media didn’t concentrate & highlight more the filth and dirt dished out by the so called dub stars Mcmahon & co, not forgetting the assault by the same said Whelan on mcgattity in 2006, thank god he never won an all Ireland medal,
    Like one of your contributors I was never as optimistic about next year as I am now, I think we will not be far off the mark.

  41. Well the whingeing still goes on. Mayo lost and deal with it. I remember back in the seventies listening to people bemoaning Dublin’s success and pointing to the usual excuses of population ,financial resources, playing at home, media and other stuff that has now become hardcoded on the losers dropdown menu. The feeling was that their begemony was never going to be broken. We all know what happened since. Teams like Meath, Kerry, Donegal, Galway and others came along, manned up and won the bloody thing. Writing letters to RTE played no part. You make your own luck and winning will always have its priviledges as it should be.

    By the way it was interesting to see former Mayo player Austin O’ Malley in the Mayo News describe D Connolly as his favourite player.

  42. Four names in for the Mayo minor job. Martin McIntyre is my personal preference. Think he would be the most qualified to develop young players. He has deep expertise in that area. I think he could bring down some of that senior team expertise into our young player development.

  43. “Our time has come”

    That is a magnificent response to that clown from RTE. Very well written. You have covered everything brilliantly.

    Just outside Ballagh. Well done you too. Fair play to the two of ye.

    I have read the initial response from RTE again and the tone of it is just unbelievable. It really is beyond me how they thought that any owl type of reply will suffice. Completely inadequate. Not fit for purpose.

    The problem is that there is a strong chance the same two teams could meet in next years final again and in the run up to that game, we would have the same shite again coming from “fair and balanced experts” and once again leading to a referee letting thuggery and cowardice reign supreme while the best player in Ireland watches most of the game from the sideline.

  44. Look from the outside looking in there are several factors that Mayo supporters keep missing.

    1. In the first game it was Mayo who waited to hit Dublin in the tunnel. Hearing talk of a “clear headbutt” on Tom Parsons and O’ Conor recieving a punch at the end of the last game is laughable. Sure your own man from Midwest Radio was talking about AOS and COC throwing punches. But sure that’s only a bit of shhkelping to rile up the dirty dubs! This talk of “clear assault” is a joke and is only embarrassing to yourselves. What about the Cooper incident (though agai many Mayo supporters have openly admitted Doherty was lucky)

    2. In terms of fouls on the field both teams are as bad as each other. Look back at all incidents and sure 5 players form both sets could’ve walked. People talk about Connolly’s All Ireland being hollow…really??? Connolly did what he needed to do. Keegan was constantly at him as he was at Keegan. Both superb players (btw Keegan is my pick for POTY) but loo at Mayo guys too O’ Connor grabbing Small in a headlock (again Small should never have been on the field from the first few mins) and then pounding the pitch like a spoilt child. This is the guy who was “throwing a few digs at the Dubs” in the tunnel.

    3. You’re so bloody close to winning it. Literally one or two impact subs away. Surprised Regan didn’t get a run out. Snappy, pacey was juts what was needed in the last 10 mins a la Costello.

    4. Ye will get there but just give over the “RTE bias” talk. As many people admitted it was Dublin v Rest of Ireland. Every pundit bar Whelan wanted Dublin to lose. Mc Stay was the same when he was in. As James Horan said Mayo don’t want pity. There are serious leaders on the squad and deep down they were’nt good enough (plus stupid managemnt decisions)

    5. Lastly Mayo management have let you guys down. Could not fault the players. That group seems to run themselves. Shocking amount of egoism played into ti. If theyd stuck to what was working ye would’ve got over the line. I really hate the pro Rochford articles. Beaten in Connaught and unimpressive until the final. Like I say the players right now are prob the best and most consisten squad int he country the last few years (bar Dublin).

    Right sin é. This is from a Kildare supporter btw. Our U-21s will hopefully have a good crack against ye this year…that who I’m pinning my hopes on! Take care and best of luck in the 2017. Again its not a slight or a dig just be better than the usual whingeing. You’ll get there and when you do it’ll be sweet!

  45. 1 Paul Lone, the Dubs were late out having due to be out first – this has widely been acknowledged and any inference that Mayo “waited in the tunnel” is absolute tosh at this point. The Dubs are getting a minor financial penalty when you compare the rest of the funding they get for their lateness. The tunnel incident was nothing to do with Mayo waiting in the tunnel – they were sent out given the Dubs were already 5 minutes Late and then the Dubs decided to come out at the same time.

    2 It rings a little hollow that we are suppose to accept Connolly’s diving to get Keegan carded as part of the game yet having to listen to all the crap for the Penalty incident against Fermanagh – apparently despite us winning by 5 clear points, that penalty was what won the game for us.

    3 – don’t disagree there

    4 – again refer back to point 1 – didn’t see Marty Morrissey showing Rochford replays of Connolly falling over after that game, and there was no Mayo player (or even Connacht) represented on any Sunday game panels when Whelan was peddling his nonsense.

    5 – you don’t like Rochford – we get it – bear in mind that Mayo have leaked goals through poor defending every year for the last 5, this year you can’t say that was the case – Rochford has created a very good defensive system and came within the kick of a ball of winning the All Ireland title this year. Last year the management we had were devoid of any sort of plan B other than lumping high ball into Aidan which was our undoing in the replay against Dublin.

    There’s no doubting we’ve been struck by bad luck more than once this year that simply knocked our chances of winning the all Ireland – the 2 own goals in the drawn game and Rob’s error in the replay.
    Onwards and upwards for 2017, and Up Mayo.

  46. Interesting comments in this site. I would like to let the Mayo based supporters in on something. There were a number of big club championship matches held here in Dublin on Sunday last, most of the Dublin players played the full match for their clubs, I saw on a newspaper that many of the Mayo guys didnt line out for their clubs on Sunday last.
    I attended the St Vincents v Na Fianna match, Diarmuid Connolly wasnt a big influence, but moved to full forward after 20 minutes and scored a goal immediately that pulled St Vincents away from Na Fianna. Ends Varley formerly of Garrymore found if difficult to win any ball in the 1st half, but did ok in the 2nd half and was later substituted. Johnny Cooper was at centre back and midfield for Na Fianna.

  47. I was at that game too, Mayo 88, and I wouldn’t fully agree with your summary of it. Connolly’s goal didn’t come immediately after he went to full-forward on 20 minutes, it was scored right on the stroke of half-time. Enda Varley scored the opening point of the game, right from the throw-in (from a Connolly feed) and it was he who fed Connolly for the Vincents’ goal. Enda got another two points (one a free) in the second half as well and he wasn’t subbed before the end. Jonny Cooper wore no.10 for Na Fianna but seemed to wander a bit aimlessly all over the joint.

  48. Willie Joe, My point is that many of the Dubs that won the All Ireland on the previous Saturday felt obliged to play for their clubs last weekend. Most of the Mayo guys were rested for their matches.
    According to the Western People newspaper on Monday of this week Alan Dillon did not play for Ballintubber, having picked up a fracture to his toe in the drawn All Ireland. I can only wonder in bemusement why on earth was he put into the game as a sub in the replay.
    There are always rumours doing the rounds when we loose a final, ie, players picking the team, etc.
    Having been in the Nally stand close to the Hill16 for the two finals, I have to say that I was in total shock to see Hennelly being named in goal, the Dubs around me at the time picked up on my frustration.
    Mayo did well in the finals, but that same old failing keeps us from winning, we cant get the scores from play in the closing stages of a match.

  49. That’s okay, Mayo 88, I was just picking up on a few factual points about the game. I don’t have the stats to hand so I’m not sure how many of players from the two counties lined out last weekend but I’m know not all the Dublin lads did and a good few of the Mayo lads played.

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