What to do about online abuse?

Image: RTÉ

The vitriolic online abuse directed at Mayo players, as well as the county in general, in the wake of our latest All-Ireland final defeat has received a fair bit of airtime over the last few days. While this is welcome, the root cause of this problem – the unmoderated baying that people are able to engage in with impunity on social media platforms – remains an intractable one.

That said, it’s good that the issue is getting some overdue notice. Mayo GAA first drew attention to the problem in the statement they issued the other day (here) and this was followed today by an intervention from GAA President Larry McCarthy – a report on that is here. He was absolutely on the money when he said the following:

Critical evaluation of match performance is fine, and expected, but overly harsh scrutiny of amateur players is unjustifiable. It is inexcusable when it moves beyond the realm of what happens on the field.

Those sentiments chime very well with my own thinking in terms of what’s acceptable for people to post here on the blog and, thankfully, most who do are well aware of this and act accordingly. A minority don’t, of course, but these were fairly easy to deal with since the Tyrone defeat.

I got a chance to air my views on online commentary when I spoke yesterday with Keith Duggan of the Irish Times. His piece in today’s paper, which also includes some interesting input from former Mayo player John Casey, is here.

I’m biased, I know, but the Mayo News is the best place for local coverage on this issue, with excellent pieces on it by Ger Flanagan and Billy Joe Padden (paper and digital variants out today). The latter quotes former Tyrone manager Mickey Harte who once said that when you win an All-Ireland that doesn’t mean you did everything right and when you lose one it doesn’t mean you did everything wrong. Mickey is well placed to know, as he won and lost deciders as manager.

This is a really insightful angle, one that shows up much of the online debate for what it is. The world isn’t black and white, instead it’s all a jumble of messy grey. This point is so often lost on the anger-fuelled online commentariat, which is all too often in a rush to apportion blame and to hunt down the guilty party. But, of course, life’s not like that.

Just because we lost the bloody match, this doesn’t that it’s a particular person’s fault, nor is the result necessarily related to other supposed failings that can be dragged up for further examination. Football games are won and lost for all manner of reasons and our defeat by Tyrone was no different in that respect.

But back to the online abuse and what might be done about it. One thing I think may be relevant, which I mentioned in that Irish Times article by Keith Duggan, is that there’s now a law on the Irish Statute Book that deals with this kind of behaviour. This is the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act 2020 and it’s available to view here.

Section 4 of the Act is worth a look. This makes it an offence for anyone to publish a “grossly offensive communication” about another person where such a communication “seriously interferes with the other person’s peace and privacy or causes alarm or distress to the other person.”

You don’t have to look too far to find plenty of examples of online communications aimed at Mayo players and management in the wake of the All-Ireland final that would meet that threshold. Neither would you have to have any advanced detective skills to identify some of the perpetrators.

It shouldn’t have to come to this and, of course, issues about jurisdiction would inevitably prevent prosecutions in some cases. Making an example of some of the worst offenders would be a good start, though, and it might make others think twice before engaging in the same kind of behaviour.

It won’t solve the problem – there is no easy solution to this one – but it would at least show the trolls that the shot they’re taking at others may not after all be a free one.

128 thoughts on “What to do about online abuse?

  1. I agree 100% with you, Willie Joe. It is the main reason why I never engaged with social media, Facebook, Twitter and the rest. But while there may be legislation in place to deal with the worst elements there seems to be no willingness, never mind urgency, to actually tackle the problem. Also our judiciary’s willingness to apply the Probation Act for all sorts of offences is a major problem.

  2. I know what Harte is saying but it doesn’t take away from the fact that a team and management can contribute to it’s own downfall by failing to control what is controllable.

    We see this all the time in soccer and Gaelic Football is no different.

    Otherwise we are just depending on the Gods to win us an All-Ireland.

  3. Well it’s no harm at all to shine the light on some of the goings on since the final.

    The problem I feel is that everyone got landed with the mobile phones on their laps. Everyone became an overnight freelance journalist with no guidance on what they could report on or who they could report on.

    That’s all very well if your dealing with a fair minded half balanced individual, but otherwise it’s dynamite in the wrong hands.

    Although I haven’t read some of the articles written by the so called leading sports writers in the country, from what I read on here, some of it was supposed to be pretty low hitting stuff.

    Shouldn’t the paid sportswriters be the first to be landed with the fines or worse, if they are overstepping the lines. Surely that would set a nice high profile example.

    It’s easy to get carried away with certain sentiments after games, but it’s worth remembering that no player goes out in the field to play poorly. They all want to perform on the day.

    Likewise with the manager. He knows he would be a legend if he was to get Mayo over the line.

    It’s laughable that some people think James Horan would jeopardize his chance of winning the AI final. Plenty of conspiracy theories that he only picks from certain clubs and picks based on politics.


    He more than anyone else wants to win the AI final, and I’m certain that he always puts out the team that he feels gives him the best chance of winning.

    As far as abuse goes, it’s the players who things might not have gone well for, these are the guys that need the arm around the shoulder, a pick me up, instead of the sly kick when they are down.

    I specifically avoid newspapers where players or managers are nationally scapegoated and abused, and I think people are begining to cop on to this type of attack sportswriting. It’s gutter journalism and usually written by people who don’t have the ability or any other method of trying to engage the reader and get their attention.

  4. All fair comment, but the mention of online let’s the biggest perpetrator in this sorry affair off the hook, the king of putting the boot in, writing in the Irish independent.
    It is commentary from the likes of him that is absolutely the most damaging. Targeted individuals can blank out social media, that prick puts it into the front rooms of most houses in the country of a Sunday afternoon.
    While it’s great Larry has come out with this, it’s extremely disappointing that the GPA have been so silent on this. They have so many initiatives on mental health yet don’t call out the very definition of bullying taking place in the national media that, no matter how strong an individual might be, has to impact theirs.

  5. East +Cork+Exile
    I agree 100% with what you.
    Articles that have been published in National media are the exact same as online trolling.This has been repeatedly a tactic of certain contributors in order to create controversy and raise their own profile and thus enrich themselves at the expense of amateur players who are doing their best.
    These individuals are parasites that are taking from a unique amateur organisation to line their own pockets.

  6. I definitely agree that the commentary of a certain pundit is a huge catalyst for a lot of the abuse, as you see the regular trolls mimicking his talking points. He’s an instigator in all of it.

  7. I haven’t a clue what’s being said online. WJ says you have to look too far, but you don’t have to look at all which is my preference. I assume its bad but have no interest in looking. Clicks, hits, that’s what it’s all about, so I feel if I hit that site or click that link I somehow complicit which of course I’m not. Freedom of speech didn’t account for an invention called the Internet. Unfortunately we live in a society in this country where the more controversial you are the more attention you get. This leads to people trying to outdo each other, be more hard hitting, be more disrespectful, be more hurtful and so on into the bottomless sewer. Of course all without any fear of recrimination as most of the commentary is likely anonymous. Nothing will be done about this as the horse has bolted, the Internet is here to stay, cut down one site and 2 more will appear.
    The Internet, the best and worst invention of all time.

  8. Interesting that you reference the Mayo News. Unfortunately it itself is not immune. The article on 21 August
    ‘Mayo – dismantling appalling GAA structures’ was an appalling attack on the Dublin team and individual Dublin players that should never have seen the light of day.

  9. Agree with all of the points above but lets not hide behind all of this crack. Management have some serious questions to answer about quite possibly our worst ever final performance ever given the circumstances.

  10. Totally agree the abuse of players and management is just downright awful. These people all have family and friends reading this stuff.
    Maybe now that the year is finished, the manager should come out publicly and tell supporters of some of the issues that may have contributed to his thinking. I heard, well before the game of James Carr’s injury and rumours of another. I won’t mention the name as it hasn’t been done already. It won’t stop online abuse, but it might go some way in helping those of us, who are bitterly disappointed to understand the problems he faced. It’s possible people may decide that, all things considered, the team and management had a good year. I know, the day of the Clare match, I would have settled for Div 1 and a Connacht title.

  11. Why does or should mangerment have to come out and explain his decision, maybe to the county board that’s it.
    Lessons have to be learned but I don’t agree that it has to be public, we are not paying these guys, it’s not government job

  12. I don’t think it’s a case of hiding behind “all this crack” Galway Exile. Management accountability for performance and online abuse (directed at players, management, county board and the county as a whole) are two entirely separate issues.

  13. This is my first post and I am motivated to contribute by the ridiculous sense of entitlement some so called “supporters” of Mayo have. Between social media, written press and comments by the general public in the street I who am not even a native of Mayo am driven to add my opinion. I was going to talk at length about the time, effort and dedication it takes to even be part of a county panel all of which is unpaid. But having read Fr. Brendan Hoban article in this weeks Western People entitled “This Mayo team owe their fans nothing” I think he puts exactly what I feel into far better words than I ever could. I would ask that anyone who considers posting a negative comment regarding members of the Mayo Senior Squad to first read his article and then reconsider their sense of entitlement.

  14. Galway Exile,your “All of this crack” statement belittles the horrendous online abuse that has been aimed at certain individuals after the AIF.
    It is completely separate from any discussion on the performance of players/management.

  15. Without condoning social media abuse, I think some of the blame thrust upon Aidan O’Shea in particular is a product of lazy analysis. Its analysis by contagion rather than being objective evidenced based. Joe is the primary culprit of course but he isn’t really in the punditry game – he is to gaelic football punditry what Katie Hopkins is to polite society and that’s his game – but the are others guilty of just being lazy. My recollection of the the AI is that Aidan O’Shea was playing really well in the first half and there was little or no acknowledgment of this fact – in fact quite the opposite and when pundits do this, the masses feel emboldened and justified in hurling the on-line abuse.

    In any event this short video won’t convince everyone but might soften the edges of some more reasonable folk in relation to O’Shea’s first half performance in the All Ireland where I am strongly of the view he was one of Mayos best players:


  16. Personal stuff is uncalled for , who got personal apart from the Derry individual? As long as there is nobody attacked on the street physically or verbally, I’m not sure it’s that massive a deal albeit it’s completely wrong to be too harsh on a particular individual.

    Headlines like “losers” although its hurtful even to supporters ,its factually correct . Our record in all Ireland finals is off the scale shite , its utter shite and very hard to understand . I dont buy these explanations from journalists and “football experts ” .

    There is something fundamentally wrong. It’s the supporter that’s lived through it more than anyone else ,tidays players wernt even born in 1989 . We’ve seen with our two fucking eyes , youd be sick to your teeth with rational reasoned explanations. Something big has to change in attitude to finals . It’s not a lack of street smarts as they say , we’ve gone way past being soft , we’ve thumped the head off teams in the tunnel ffs but would you back a Mayo player to score a winning point in a final ala dean rock in 17 .

    On a positive note tommy conroy and ROD have been two massive finds over the last two years , along with oisin Mullen and eoghan mcghlouhlin. Horan is brilliant in this aspect of management and when a is said and done hes still the man to lead us to the promised land ,I’d just beg him to compromise his strict mindset on certain elements of a players game like if an out and out natural forward slacks slightly on tracking his marker , let it go man if the other side of his game outweighs that negative , it’s a win .

  17. Some of the contributors on this site of late are also guilty. They have a lot of views that are only assumptions and they print them as fact. For example : Horan wont take advice from his selectors while they have no proof what so ever of this, or even that his selectors were all giving him the same advice at the same time. I am sure the management team have their meeting and plan for who starts , tactics and expected subs which will be used. No one knows what is going on in the Mayo camp – injuries etc are all kept under wraps. That is the way it should be. Fans don’t have a right to know or as some have advocated a right to get answers. Fans need to accept that the Management and Team are all working with the same goal to win an All Ireland Final. As Fans we just need to relax and support the Team through good times and bad.

  18. This area is one that falls squarely in the hands of the GAA. They can if they wish deal directly with members and media organisations who ‘cross the line’. However, they do not seem to genuinely wish to do so.

    We all think we know what satire, abusive commentary, sledging and banter are, or do we. So for example, which definition does Specsavers sponsorship of Hawkeye fall into?

    The recent GAA statements are interesting but the GAA are caught in a bind. The organisation isn’t amateur, it is a big, bold and professional sports organisation run by professional staff. It requires media coverage for the sport and let us face it the entertainment that it sells. From this we have all the professional spin-offs. Live broadcasts of games, deals with media organisations, analysis by ‘paid’ pundits and commentators, sales of game tickets, deals with ticket agents, match programmes, photographers, merchandise sales, podcasts, blogs, statisticians, authors and writers making money from books or media articles in local and national papers.

    On match days the GAA as part of the where we all belong campaign seek to drive ‘fans’ to post on social media – some lucky punters will get their pictures on the ‘big screen’ in Croker by adding the relevant hashtag.

    The GAA needs media, the associated spin-offs and people posting on line to keep the ‘brand’ at a highly visible point to as to help sell the entertainment at the best price.

    Yet, this can and does impact on the participants and when it does negatively impact we scramble for who is to blame and of course ‘remedies’. I do not agree with a reach for legal remedies here.

    The reach for legal remedies where sports people believe that their ‘peace and privacy’ have been ‘invaded’ or ‘injured’ even on the GAA pitch is nothing new – see the case of Sinnott v The Carlow Nationalist:
    ‘The newspaper had (June 2006), on pages one and three of its sports section, published pictures of Mr Sinnott taken while he was playing in a GAA match. His private parts were visible in one photograph and Mr Sinnott had given evidence of being very upset by the publication.’ Mr. Sinnott won €11,000 in damages and the paper were left with a hefty court bill from a number of days out in both the circuit court and high court.

    However, this was a civil case, not a criminal one, and despite it seemingly meeting the requirements of the new legislation highlighted by WJ in this blog I personally doubt a court would convict on the standard of ‘intentionally seriously interferes’ with a persons peace and privacy. That is a very high bar, while someone such as the newspaper in Sinnott as claimed in the court cases accidently published the picture (the ‘tackle’ in question was missed by the photographer, editorial process etc…) a conviction for the criminal offence would likely fail.

    Criminalising online communications, from private individuals is a dangerous road to go down and while it may be necessary in extreme circumstances – promotion of terrorism, incitement to violence, promoting self harm or endangering public health or sedition – it would be impossible to target all the ‘new criminals’, charge, put on trial and possibly provide for a custodial sanction.

    So what did GAA President Larry McCarthy ask for? He merely asked for ‘commentators and social media posters to practice restraint in their comments and analysis of the Association’s amateur players.’

    It is clear the GAA does not want to address ‘members’ who ‘cross the line’. Nor is it really interested in tackling those media organisations who host or publish some of the most unwarranted personal nonsense which we have recently witnessed. The GAA can simply prevent media organisations from access to their games. The grounds are private property and such exclusion can be done. Such a move would send a signal of what is or is not tolerated.

    Imagine, for example, if the ‘Independent’ staff were banned from GAA grounds on the back of an article they published which personally attacked a player. Imagine the real debate that would happen in editors offices and in public around what is acceptable or not. Are the GAA willing to protect its players and other members by taking such a stance against the media? Sadly I doubt they have the courage to do so.

    Mr. McCarthy’s statement further highlights who the GAA, or sections of it, seek to protect. I doubt a referee in the country wouldn’t be able to claim or demonstrate similar sustained abusive communications about their performances. Where is the protection for them? Why allow the abuse of referees and then regularly overturn their onfield decisions – which indirectly pushes the notion that they are fair game.

    Today it is our hurt that fuels the debate and given the tribal nature of the GAA and the amntra that we look after our own, it’s natural and a learned behaviour; we are more likely to be ‘offended’ enough to act when it is someone from our own town, club, county … our tribe who is on the receiving end. While it is one of our own today and criminalising such behaviour seems proportionate a more appropriate response, in my mind, is to push back on the GAA.

    The GAA needs to set boundaries for the media (set down a marker if they feel some have crossed a line) and when members over step the mark they can and should be sanctioned, under existing GAA rules. There is little need to ask a criminal court to determine if reaction to a football game is satire, abusive commentary, sledging or banter. The Gardai and courts have better things to do than mop up when the GAA fails to address such matters.

  19. The problem with sports journalists taking liberties, WJ, is that they cultivate an audience for themselves and sell newspapers.
    However, they are also revealing a side of their own character. Egotistical and insensitive. Does the following bring any individual to mind

    Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

  20. An impossible task WJ and one that many platforms have no interest in countering on the premise there is no such thing as bad press. Token efforts now and again are made and that’s the sum of it, I think it’s a reflection of society as a whole, everything is outrage.

    The players, management and all involved in that mayo team you can be sure tried their best and believed in what they were doing. Nobody went out to have an off day or make a bad decision. These things happen. Certainly we need to understand why, but the answer will not be because any player is any long list of expletives you want to use, or that any number of people have. The answer will be a football one believe it or not!

    It always makes me smile though as I think of someone behind the keyboard if the roles were reversed. Imagine landing into someone sat at their desk one day and tearing apart the work they did in the office “ah for f sake, you f in, useless so and so”.

    Phil Jones, the footballer, recently opened up about the abuse he has suffered and it was really insightful. This from a player who Sir Alex Ferguson felt he could build a long term defence around but who has suffered incredibly bad knee injuries.

    “Jones added on the impact internet trolls can have on footballers in the modern era: “In this society we’re living in at the minute, all the racism and stuff that affects mental health – I’d just say be careful. You don’t know how it’s going to affect players: physically, mentally, emotionally. We always go back to the same point: ‘Oh they’re footballers, they should be able to deal with it, they get so much money, have this lavish lifestyle.’ Take all that away, strip all that back and we’re just human beings”.

    Our footballers don’t even get the money.

    Until such time as platforms are moderated like here, the abuse continues. Until people are educated into better behaviour (and yours truly certainly can’t throw stones as I have at times lashed out without an iota of evidence or reason) I don’t think much will change.

    I’d take great heart though from the fact that the mayo players are a team, and I can imagine have lots of support for each other.

  21. Willie Joe, a small but important note regarding Section 4 of the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act 2020.

    Having had a quick look at Section 4, I don’t believe that the act actually makes it an offence “for anyone to publish a grossly offensive communication” about another person where such a communication “seriously interferes with the other person’s peace and privacy or causes alarm or distress to the other person.”

    The part which makes the above an offence is that it is done to “intentionally” cause harm and for that reason I think the vast majority of prosecutions would fail.

    Because the plaintiff would need to prove two things for a prosecution to be successful : (1) that the defendant has seriously interfered with the plaintiffs peace and privacy or that the actions of the plaintiff caused alarm or distress to the defendant and (2) that it was the plaintiffs intention that “(1)” would be the outcome of his or her actions.

    So while it is absolutely disgusting and morally wrong, proving that it is done with the “intent” of harming someone would be extremely difficult.

    And a failed prosecution would actually make it “open season” on the plaintiff going forward.

    If people are unhappy with a particular newspaper then don’t buy or subscribe to it, personally if I owned a shop I wouldn’t sell that paper and I would hope that such a boycott would spread through the County, the bad publicity that such a drastic move would generate may force the editor to have a rethink on who they are paying.

    So there are plenty ways to skin a rat.

    The reality is that we are living in a society where we have some innately bad people, we always were but now we are more exposed to them.

    This is a social problem, we live in a society which is fueled by alcohol, drugs and gambling and it is contributing greatly to changing the moral compass.

    Can you walk into any shop in Ireland without being bombarded by alcohol, scratch cards or lottery tickets or go to any event without someone pushing raffle tickets in your face ?

    So my point is we have created this lethal cocktail of a society and in the same way that gambling, alcohol and drug abuse has destroyed many people and families because we as a society in Ireland have allowed it, should we be surprised when people abuse their “right” of using social media to hurl abuse.

    There is only one sure fire way of Mayo GAA shutting the trolls up and that needs to be their number one focus and as well as that take a leaf out of Tyrone’s book and actually use the bad press against us a weapon on the pitch.

  22. There are 2 separate issues. 1 is the on line abuse etc which is unacceptable but the 2nd issue is as Sean Burke stated above, is what we see in front of own eyes. I was sitting directly across from the dugouts in the upper cusack and the difference in the 2 dugouts was so obvious. Horan on his own, Tyrone in a huddle, Dooher miked up to his people in the stands. And O’Sullivan there are countless examples of selectors leaving after Horan’s AI defeats, all for the same reason. And yes they can’t come out and say it but come on everyone knows why. And that what’s makes supporters so angry, the same failings on the sidelines in 4 finals. This is not a abuse, this is deep frustration at us throwing away finals due to inept in game management.

  23. Sean, I think Billy Joe wrote recently about the pressure Mayo players are under in finals… how someone needs to work with them around not “tightening up” when shooting for big scores in finals. Whoever nails this deserves a Nobel Peace prize I feel! He references American sports, I think NFL.

    Obviously this is where our problems lie. Too tense, too much ‘anxiety to win’ instead of ‘anxiety to perform’ as Paul Flynn rightly described.

    It’s all easier said than done though. Even top world professional sports stars struggle with nerves, underperform, and lose as a result.

    The spotlight will always be on Mayo until we win it, so really I cannot see any way to make it easier. It must come from within the set-up, ie a manager like James instilling belief. I’d imagine sports psychology plays a huge part. Some managers probably naturally have that gift. James must have it, by virtue of how he has rapidly transitioned this team to within touching distance of an All ireland title, beating the unbeatable Dubs on the way. Then, in we go to the final, and a huge part of that inner belief he instilled abandons them. Why? Why? Why? Surely we can figure out why….. then figure out how to stop this rot.

  24. What sometimes surprises me when you look online and see some of these disgusting comments and if you click into their profiles they are comments sometimes made by men and women who are in their 40s 50s and 60s . Looking at their pictures on their social media accounts with their kids and grandkids around them you would never think they would be so insensitive to make vulgar comments about other people .I often wonder how they would feel if they heard the same things that they have said about other said about their own family members .
    Social media gives people licence to say what they like without fear of any consequence . I often wonder why more of these comments that people make online are not deleted and people blocked from further comments . I appreciate it is hard to monitor all comments some platforms are not receiving thousands of comments and should well be able to monitor what is being said under their post .
    Now look some of these who are providing the platform may argue for freedom of speech and all that but I certainly can tell you I don’t to be part of any online group that thinks its ok to call someone who by the way don’t even know the person they are saying it about things like useless cunts and much worse . Ya have to wonder where people are at in their head .I bet the majority of these hardy boys and girls would not even say a word to any player /manager if they saw them put and about .I agree something needs to be done . If its not acceptable to walk down the street shouting abuse at others why do we tolerate it online ?

  25. The online world is a cesspit for abuse and bullying I came off Twitter years ago and will never go back on it. The abuse Aidan got off journalist living in the county is an absolute disgrace if we had any balls as a county we would tell said journalist he’s not welcome in Mayo yet you see people lining up for selfies with him I’ve seen it with my own eyes

  26. I’m not recovered yet from the disappointment but would like to add my voice to the condemnation of abuse of players and management. Some people who only show up for the big occasion think they have the right to give their vitriolic opinion after loss in AIF, they’ll be tucked up nice and warm until next August. The law should be used to pursue keyboard warriors by the Co Board as a whole. Ian Wrights abuser ended up in court so should anyone who abuses a player in GAA.
    My thanks to all the team the squad and the mentors. Our day will come.

  27. I haven’t looked at Twitter and Facebook since the final as I knew what would be going on there. A good starting point would be for the Mayo PRO to start moderating the comments on our own pages. It’s very easy to spot and block the trolls that appear under every post.

    Unfortunately I think that regular article in the Sunday Indo is the biggest problem. Some people love a pile on and then there will be people trying to counter it later in the week, which only serves to give it more publicity.

  28. @OSULLIVAN, I find it a little amusing that you can accuse some contributors of passing over assumptions as facts while you simultaneously pass off you own assumptions as facts.

    I think contributors in the main are contrasting the optics of both sets of management teams and it would be very difficult so say that there was not a significant contrast.

    Of course all management teams have a plan in place but when everything isn’t going to plan that’s when the crust is really earned.

  29. Summer+Supporter, the Ian Wright case was different because it was racial abuse.

    And you are correct to say the abuser ended up in court and in fact pleaded guilty.

    But he did not receive a criminal conviction because the Judge concluded that he “didn’t see anything to be gained” by imposing a criminal conviction.

    So while the judge criticized the “reprehensible views and language” the defendant had put on social media, he said it appeared the defendant had shown “genuine remorse”.

    That’s the precedent which is likely to be used by defense teams in Irish courts in the future.

    Tell the court how genuinely sorry you are, and walk free.

  30. There is a concerted push to end online anonymity or tie it to your personal ID. That would be a massive error and I’d rather tolerate imbeciles being imbeciles. Don’t feed the trolls, it’s not hard. Remember, the press literally farms social media these days, so you’re reading warmed up narratives. Padraig Hampsey had his personal life raked over by those gossip sites, harvested from his social media.

  31. Liberal role in the tie, there are many issues that can tie people up. Perhaps they were over-trained, but we racked up 3 scoring chances quickly and took 2 with a beauty from Tommy Conroy. then the **** hit when Tyrone got 3 scores where the 3 guys who were taken off in SF were responsible through poor marking, not following back and fouling. It affects players also when they see their good work wiped out by what they surely felt were wrong selections. If you have ever played with a team that hummed and one that did not, you know the difference and once Mayo found the magic formula against Dublin, that team should have been left alone and any sports psychologist would know this

  32. If someone has something to say they should be willing to put their name to it. I’m coming to the conclusion that anonymous posts on the internet are harmful to society in general. I for one would be more than willing to participate in online discussion where my identity is known.(BTW my identity is known to WJ).

  33. Viper . I used the word ” assume” . An assumption is not a fact , (unproved) nor did I intend my assumption to taken as a fact. Sorry if you took me up wrong

  34. I haven’t read social media comments since the match. I commend MayoGAA for addressing online abuse in its statement.
    I have a problem with the national newspaper which publishes ‘opinion pieces’ about GAA, that have fanciful spins on them. The Derry journalist is one stark example but at this stage I don’t think he can help it. When we can’t get him to change we have to look at the publication that hires him and gives him a platform. They seem happy with this vacuous dramatic stuff – we saw a different ‘sports journalist’ from that paper taking aim at Stephen Rochford after the first Kerry game in 2017 when he put AOS on Donaghy. You’ll remember the headline if you cast your mind back. More of it.
    I don’t buy that paper any more and I didn’t read the article taking aim at Aidan.
    I noted that the paper tried to play both sides by carrying an article condemning the abuse of Mayo a few days ago.
    In short, I agree with the posters above asking for journalists to hold higher standards in their writing.

  35. Have the GPA said anything about this abuse of players and management. It’s not just a Mayo issue, it’s just that our men are in the firing line now. And the next time anyone poses for a selfie with the celebrity perennial Mayo abuser will you ask youself are you really that desperate. Far better to pose for a picture with those guys who give their best for their county and yours and who are courteous, humble, dedicated and respectful, all qualities lacking in the aforementioned celebrity.

  36. @O SULLIVAN, It was this part I was referring to:

    “I am sure the management team have their meeting and plan for who starts , tactics and expected subs which will be used”.

    It was evident from the body language that there was not agreement on the sideline wouldn’t you say, so that doesn’t really tally in with something you were “sure” about, that’s my point.

    It didn’t look like they were all singing off the same hymn sheet that’s all.

  37. Ontheditch, I think your assessment of the individual in question comes close to the mark, however it’s clear that unlike most people, they thrive on any kind of attention, be it positive or negative. Trying to respond even if it is to try and condemn and belittle simply encourages and rewards them, and the only solution to this is to not engage at all and deprive them. Easier said than done and the number of times they have been alluded to in this thread shows how hard it is to ignore it. Commentary from that individual does legitimise the anonymous – and not anonymous – abuse that follows, and I would expect the GAA to address it (as, in fairness to them, Mayo GAA have), but aside from a condemnation they are not going to sanction the publication because they depend on the publicity.

    We might also note that there is a distinction between ‘journalists’ and ‘columnists’ – they are two very different things 🙂

    Although I’m quite happy to use my name online (obviously), I disagree vehemently with removing anonymity from social media sites; anonymity is absolutely vital for safety in certain situations. The real problem is with the lack of moderation, the cowardice of the masses, and the fact that these platforms are consistently absolved of their moral and social responsibility and until they are held to account financially or people stop using them, things will never change. It’s not the GAA’s responsibility to deal with this; it’s very firmly in the hands of those who are making billions off these platforms. I’m very aware of the irony of writing this comment on a blog, but with some notable exceptions such as this, I truly believe that social media is the worst thing that ever happened to society.

    Galway Exile, I can assure you from personal experience that there isn’t a single ounce of ‘crack’ to be had when you are the target of harassment, abuse or nastiness online.

  38. Donegal Exile @ 10:53 am,
    Outstanding post. Hits the nail on the head, totally. The GAA will huff and puff and release statements etc, blah, blah, blah. But that’s all they will do. They will not bite the hand that feeds them. The GAA is a corporate beast fully dependent on media organisations of all kinds for their income, you don’t think SKY came in, or were let in, for the good of their health, do you? The GAA is not amateur, it only suits them to claim so in case players would start seeking payment to play.
    So, if you want to dance with the Devil you better prepare to get burned. That goes for any players that employ agents to sign up commercial and sponsorship deals too. I’m not saying it’s right, but don’t be so innocent to think that if you earn €’s via social media that you’re not going to be a target at times.

  39. One other thing, the “Sunday Independent columnist” was down in Achill last Summer and welcomed in the pubs with open arms by all present. Feted and cheered and drink bought for him left, right and center. Really he should have been met at the bridge in Achill Sound and landed in Mulranny with a kick in the hole.
    As to win just once references above, next time the little imp shows up around the place just ignore him. You don’t have to buy the shit rag that he writes for either.

  40. I think that the Mayo County Board should request a meeting with all the management team, and if the selectors have a problem with James Horan on or off the line, let them come out with it.
    Sort it out and stop all this speculation, it is th least that we as supporters deserve.
    I think we should get a hold of the lady that has helped a good teams over the line, her surname is Currid from Sligo.

  41. I think Colm Keyes is a decent journist and played club football at a fairly high level. GAA counties do not help themselves with their Italian style omerta. What are the journalists meant to write about.
    Gaa headquarters should be active on the pr front and feed stories to the media like Rugby and Soccer. I don’t want to hear about cricket or Leinster rugby in the morning sports news. When we lose the media battle we lose the youth

  42. @Pebblesmeller, whoever told you such a long tale must have forgot there was hardly a place open due to covid so it’s totally fake news in my opinion.

  43. Real gaa people don’t engage in this type of nonsense. Real gaa people know that all Ireland s are not handed out on a plate. A lot of so called mayo supporters jumped on the band wagon.. thought Dublin out. No kerry. I want to be there. We must win. How many of these people will go to a league match. We will rise again. … but is that curse haunting us

  44. Keyboard warriors are cowards and are usually sad individuals who have a nothing life. Waste of oxygen. We are however not the first county to receive abuse and won’t be the last. I’ve seen some awful stuff written about Dublin players and some of it coming form so called mayo fans online. We have plenty of scumbags in this county too.

  45. Is there a particular reason why Brolly isn’t being mentioned by name? Posters, myself included, regularly slag him off on this blog, so when he is being at his most outrageous, why is ‘Sunday Independent columnist’ used to describe him?

  46. @Philip O Reilly, there’s a significant amount of things Mayo need to be doing to improve their chances of getting over the line and a top performance psychologist is only one of them.

    I’ve looked into Caroline Currids work a little more in the last few days and her CV is impressive, she was brought in by Tyrone in 2008, Tipperary Hurlers in 2010 and the Dublin footballers in 2011.

    She has been involved in 3 out of the last 4 of limericks All-Ireland wins and in 2019 they missed out, incidentally when she took a year out.

    But it’s a waste of time hiring Caroline Currid if everything else isn’t in place as well and it’s her or nobody, you must get proven performers on board, no more half measures.

  47. Catcol, that particular columnist thrives on attention, good or bad, it doesn’t matter.
    “Look at me” is what is desired, and not anything else.
    I’m not interested in promoting him by speaking about him, and if I must it’ll be with the least publicity possible.

  48. Agree Wille Joe, but my point is we are only hearing/reading about the online stuff and very little discussion on our own failings

  49. yew_tree – I don’t remember national newspapers ridiculing Dublin players. Unfortunately we’re an easy target for the trolls and there’s no easy way to fix it.

    Even look at the championship this year… Cork get hockeyed in the Munster final by over 20 points while Galway collapse in the connacht final giving up a 5 point lead and don’t score from play in the 2nd half. Yet I didn’t see any real criticism of those 2 teams, it was pretty much brushed off.

  50. Galway Exile – there has been loads of discussion on our own failings. I don’t think there’s any aspect of the final that hasn’t been disected to death at this stage

  51. I’m not sure what you’re reading, Galway Exile, but there’s been plenty published since the game, both locally and nationally, that has focused on our performance and where we fell down. There’s an ongoing in-depth discussion here on all that as well. The issue of online abuse only started to get covered a few days ago.

  52. AnneMarie.. This online stuff has been going on for years.. same with Brolly..Im not sure why people are more offended by it now than before.. Its wrong.. but lets not overly focus on what a few idiots wrote online.. lets focus on where we fell down and make sure its put right

  53. Very little of what i read layed much of the blame at horans door.. please share a few links folks

  54. Don’t buy or read newspapers it better for one’s health.
    I spotted that a few years ago.
    Even some of the so called football pundits, they have gone overboard, getting too like the Sky coverage of the Premiership.

  55. Galway Exile – Pat Spillane and Colm O’Rourke have wrote articles criticising Horan, along with Pat Holmes in the Western People. I’m sure there are others too.

  56. Yes the GPA came out against it a few days ago and may have been first. Think it was in the Examiner. I remember because I had written the day before to Tom Parsons asking could the GPA not condemn the abuse. I also complained to RTE about all the abuse Aidan’s good name took after Joanne Cantwell’s slip up. Whether meant or not she has probably managed to label him with a different version of his good name for life.

  57. Galway Exile – a bit of research of your own would turn up relevant post-match articles. Personally, I can’t fathom this desire to apportion personal blame but each to their own I suppose.

  58. And actually when I searched for that article I found Paul Flynn was condemning online abuse of gaa players back in sep 2019.

  59. Well said Wille Joe. The amount of pure and utter shite wrote about Mayo football really beggars belief. This shite has being going on for a long time, I am on about the shite that is wrote to make headlines and sell newspapers. Mayo losing another final just adds fuel to the fire. The players are someone’s brother, son, uncle or whatever and yes they lost the game so fucking what. I think the All Ireland happens every year! Of course it would have been wonderful if they won. They didn’t, the world keeps turning and life goes on. By the way this is the only place I read about Mayo football online. Top marks to everyone on here I love reading your points of view. The shite online people post I would not waste my time reading! They should be punished! Mayo forever

  60. Blame is probably the wrong word WJ.. Accountability is a better one.. Put it this way.. do you think Horan is the best option for us to land Sam after 4 poor attempts in finals?

  61. That’s a better word alright. My thinking on the issue wouldn’t be too far removed from what Billy Joe Padden had to say in this week’s Mayo News – here. Billy Joe has a point, those calling for James Horan’s head need to be careful what they wish for.

  62. @Viper, long tale? You don’t know Achill so.
    The man that told me is a personal friend, and his daughter got a picture with Brolly. Much to his disgust.
    Would you like me to post the picture to prove this long tale??

  63. @Sinead 37, Interesting article in the Examiner alright.. Quite apart from how online abuse affects, players and I suppose we all would be better to understand, and maybe then we might hesitate and moderate ourselves before we comment, … It states that there were 40K at the match, admittedly I’ve never been to Croke Park when the attendance were spaced out so uniformly, whether it made any sence or otherwise I don’t know. .. But if I was asked to guess what the attendance was, I would have guessed about 55K,.. just my personal opinion and the opinion of others I spoke to as well. ..

  64. @Pebblesmeller, please don’t post the picture, my phone screen is cracked already and I fear it might shatter altoghther if you post the picture of that individual.. and it’s not the part of the picture of your friends daughter I’m talking about.. It’s the other individual.

  65. @Pebblesmeller, a selfie is a million miles away from what you described.

    I know the place well and I was there last summer as I am most years and there was hardly a place open even though it was thronged with tourists, four times more tourists than locals and the few restaurants and the odd gastro pub which were open were well spread out over the island and it was difficult to get a table so unless your friends daughter was following him around the island watching people buying him drink then I’ll take it with a large pinch of salt.

    If anyone did make a fuss of him anywhere I’d bet my bottom dollar it was tourists from the North as the place was thronged with them because he would be a nobody to locals in Achill.

  66. I don’t really understand the overboard criticism of Horan this time around players simply did not take there chances and conceded a terrible goal.

    Looking at the score lines of the last 15 all ireland’s 7 winners conceded one goal 8 kept a clean sheet none of them conceded more than 1 goal. We are conceding a couple in most final matches.

    If you look at the Dublin team, Kerry and Tyrone teams of the 2000s, Meath in the 90s or Kilkenny in hurling they all brought huge goal threat. it’s a fundamental part of winning big matches.

    For me at all ireland final level it distils down to an inability to stop goals and score goals these are the key factors stopping us winning.

  67. Galway Exile, your complete dismissal of this actually makes you part of the problem and lets bullies and abusers off the hook. Easy to dismiss something that doesn’t affect you as no big deal, but I’m fairly certain that if it was yourself or a loved one in the firing line, you’d change your tune pretty quickly. But I wouldn’t wish it on you.

    I’m really not sure where you’ve been spending your time of late but our failings have been laid bare numerous times, especially on here, but also by every media outlet in the country. The analysis is not hard to find.

  68. Can somebody point me towards the “abuse” that is being thrown around? I genuinely can’t see it anywhere. I see questions being asked of decisions being made and analysis of the game, I just hadn’t seen abuse.

  69. Other than Joe Brolly I should add.

    He’s just another more known version of Colm Parkinson. They thrive off of attention and creating a frenzy. It means clicks and it’s the type of stuff that belongs in rags such as The Sun and most red tops

    Other than those, where is the abuse?

  70. @WeJustWantOne, I think you are way off the mark regarding Colm Parkinson, there’s absolutely no comparison between Parkinson and Brolly, unless of course I’ve missed something from Parkinson which you can update me on ?

    I’d hate to think we are getting into this realm where people believe constructive criticism is “abuse” or that people are unable to recognize the difference.

    All that does is let the real culprits off the hook.

  71. WeJustWantOne, are you on Twitter or Facebook? Or do you read the anonymous comments posted on YouTube under videos relating to the All-Ireland Final?
    I steered well clear of the first two but have seen some comments on YouTube videos that are lax, to say the least. I didn’t linger long enough to read in detail.
    The moderation is light to non-existent in those places and this is where abusive comments might have appeared.

  72. @Viper – Parkinson makes comments about players he knows nothing about all of the time. He’s not always giving “constructive criticism”. His mantra is he played county so he will know more than somebody who hasn’t played county. Drives me cracked.

    @Swallow Swopps, I use Twitter but sparingly. Haven’t seen much but I haven’t gone looking. I wonder are a lot of people jumping on this without actually seeing the abuse. As for YouTube, not a chance would I read comments on that.

    I am not saying the abuse hasn’t happened, but I just haven’t seen much of it, which I would consider a good thing.

  73. @WeJustWantOne, I don’t know what you mean by he “makes comments about players he knows nothing about all of the time”.

    Give me examples of where “He’s not always giving “constructive criticism”.

    Parkinson is a lot smarter and knows a lot more about tactics than many so called experts.

    If a goalkeeper is caught in no mans land I think it’s fair comment to say “what the hell was he thinking about”.

    I wouldn’t class that as an insult.

  74. A lot of talk here about leaders, and most mentioned are backs yet we leak goals like a sieve.
    I would agree with Coen as captain as he has pedigree in that position, no need to change every year.
    Definitely need a more reliable goalie and a game plan for different oppositions.
    Aido will rise again and with no retirements and a few new finds we will come agaim
    Most people have us written off. Selector situation is worrying.
    Badly need help in coping with all our defeats.

  75. Re Billy Joe’s take I in the Mayo News the manager/managment of Mayo.. Be careful what you wish for?.. I wish for better Managment.. Changing comes with a serious risk of falling down the pecking order, no doubt about that… And re the management of Mayo in 2022, if I’m reading the tealeaves right, we’re going to get a change of Management plural of Mayo in 2022 regardless, so that risk is there regardless.. Arguably a similar change in Galway resulted in a slide in their ranking, but by staying the same they risked staying the same, thus far will you go and no further… Galway and Mayo and indeed Pádraig O’Hora have only one plan, the plan to land Sam, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that either County, of Galway or Mayo could possibly do just that in the next few years, I wouldn’t begrudge Roscommon if they managed to land Sam either,.. Either way all contenders start at the bottom of the mountain in 2022 again in any case. By taking a risk, the worst we are risking in the next few years is a change in the ranking order of Galway, Roscommon and Mayo…We wouldn’t be risking any more than that…Conciderably less risk than Tyrone took, after all Mickey Harte had won, several Ulster titles, several McKenna cups titles, All Ireland minor titles, All Ireland under 21 titles, the first 3 All Ireland Senior titles,…
    .Tyrone risked sliding down the pecking order as well, with their change of Management was a risky business especially for an Ulster team, where the competition is stronger than the rest of Ireland put together for the last 20 year’s… It’s a fair question to ask, which part of our Management would you credit the most for our win V Dublin?.. An exilerating, but on the whole error ridden game played in the rain, no one made more errors than the Referee, but who made the decisions on the sideline that led to the Mayo win?. I would be in no doubt that James Horan made some of the decisions and credit for that, but crucial decisions the big changes seemed to be made by Ciaran McDonald, or else I can’t trust the evidence of my own eyes any more… Can any of ye Ladies and Gentlemen remember as far back as 2001, when All 3 Connacht contenders, Galway, Mayo and Roscommon all won Silverware, the Rossies won Connacht, Mayo won the League and Galway won Sam… I know the one I want!

  76. Leantimes – How can you possibly know that Ciaran McDonald made the crucial decisions vs Dublin? We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to beat Dublin. A few big turnovers and scores from Keegan, Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue. A few long range frees from Robbie etc.

    I don’t think the comparison of Mickey Harte and James Horan is exactly fair either. Harte had achieved very little since 2008 and beat none of the top teams outside of ulster in that time.

  77. @Wideball, I trust the evidence of my own eyes.. The game is on YouTube, I watched it live on TV at the time and have rewatched 5 time’s since, the same as the All Ireland final.. Have a look at in particular the game, the time when Aiden O Shea is withdrawn from the game, and have a look at the interaction between Ciaran McDonald and Aiden O Shea, where the game is stopped due to the injury to Eoghan McLoughlin and see for yourself.. just after the second water break.. Let me know if you think I should book an appointment with Specsavers.. ‘Apart from Ulster’, ‘Micky Harte hadn’t beaten the top contenders’..province with by far several of the strongest contenders are Tyrone hadn’t beaten any of the top contenders,.. again you are making an argument against yourself.

  78. Actually Wideball Tyrone under Mickey Harte also contested the 2018 All Ireland final.. of course they beat top contenders, and to further enhance Mickey Harte record I completely forget to add that Tyrone under Mickey Harte also won the National League, of course it’s a fair comparison!

  79. Aido will rise again I hope, from the bench, he can’t be captain next year or play for 70, if we can’t see that we’re doomed

  80. Leantimes – Ciaran McDonald was talking to the players during both water breaks in the final as well. What was the big change made in the Dublin game? From what I could see it was classic Horanball that got us the win.

    The point about Mickey Harte was he went 12 consecutive years after 2008 without winning an all Ireland or national league. Tyrone had loads of good underage teams in that time too. I don’t agree that there were that many contenders in ulster. Donegal under McGuiness were strong for 3 years, but no one else made it too far in the championship.

  81. That’s a very good article by Anthony Hennigan in the WP, had almost forgotten about Fergal Boland. It’s mad with all our injuries that he can’t even make the bench while Aidan Orme is basically making his debut against Tyrone!

  82. There is an old saying live by the sword and you die by the sword, same for social media too many Mayo players and Officials spent too much time on social media and when that backfires on them they complain about it. Just why cant Mayo people stay away from Social Media till they win Sam and then have their say if they want.

  83. @culmore, the trolls must be lapping it up this week with the reaction and free publicity they are getting.

    People need to realize that the trolling will not stop, in fact it will get much worse if anything now that they see it has rattled so many cages.

    We have people calling for individuals to be prosecuted and named and shamed yet many refer to Joe Brolly as “that fella” or “the Sindo man”, his name is Joe Brolly and don’t be afraid to say it, others say they you should never write anything about someone that you wouldn’t be prepared to say to their face, they call Joe Brolly a b****x but yet would ignore him if they met him, if you think he’s a b****x then walk straight up to him and tell him what you think of him.

    But please refer to him as Joe Brolly because all you are doing otherwise is showing him how much you are rattled by him.

    If I was an inter county player I wouldn’t even bother having a social media account, why torture yourself reading crap about yourself, what I wouldn’t know wouldn’t bother me in the slightest, the trolls would soon get fed up when the fish wasn’t biting.

    This week the trolls got hook, line and sinker.

  84. The western people article from Anthony Hennigan.. Well done sir.. Facts being taken as abuse/criticism is the point I was trying to make..If asking hard questions and delivering a few home truths is seen as abuse then we will never improve.. Clearly Anthony is better with words than myself.. There is a line of course that shouldn’t be crossed..

    Ann-Marie, I think you didnt get what I was trying to say

    Parkinson is a sharp analyst who sticks to the facts in my opinion.. Had an ego on the pitch but not off it.. Brollys ego is out of control.. everything he does is self promotion

  85. Mayo always had the name of being soft, no more. That is down to a few of our previous managers starting with Liam ó Néill.
    Don’t lose the faith, our day will come unfortunately I may not see it at 69.

  86. Culmore, who exactly among Mayo players and officials “spent too much time on social media”?

    Really looking forward to seeing the evidence for that claim, whenever you’re ready to produce it.

    And regardless, even if they spent 18 hours a day on social media, posting non-stop, why shouldn’t they? How does that entitle anyone to abuse them?

    Galway Exile, what you were saying was crystal clear, don’t worry.

  87. @Jr, If you look at the situation with Aidan O’Shea as one example, is there any other county in Ireland who would still be scratching their head as to what the lads best position is and him coming near the end of his career ?

    That’s why I feel sorry for him, he’s been pulled all over the place by management, I think it’s fair to assume he’s been instructed to move in and out.

    I had fully expected one of our game plans v Tyrone would have been be to leave Aidan in at full forward for the duration and that a game plan to get good diagonal ball into him to lay off to our runners as one option, this was clearly not worked on because if it was we would have seen it.

    Two weeks was ample time to work on this.

    I’m not saying this should have been our only outlet, of course not, but it would have been the most beneficial use of Aidan and would have totally disrupted Tyrone as well, so a win win situation.

    And for those who say “but he’s a great man at winning ball in the middle of the park” and that is also true but where is the most beneficial position to win ball from a scoring point of view, middle of the field or in at full forward, obviously it’s the latter and the same goes for losing possession, if you lose it, lose it as far from your own goal as possible.

    When Aidan was at midfield and not in possession he simply did not have the legs which meant Tyrone always had a man over, their first score from play was as a direct result of this and careful analysis will show that it cost us more scores, so instead of a win win it was a double whammy.

    This is not rocket science, it’s about as basic as any tactician will tell you and I’m only talking about one tactical move.

    There were several times during the game where Aidan was in at full forward screaming for diagonal ball and it didn’t arrive, that’s about as clear an indication you can get that the plan was not worked on.

    If Mayo get a tactical team to assist the manager in the preparation for the latter stages of the All-Ireland series then your chances of seeing Mayo win an All-Ireland will increase dramatically.

    So the ball is in the court of the County Board, do they want to win it or are they happy enough continuing to live in hope.

    I say to hell with hope alone, let’s get our act together for once and for all and send our men into Croke Park with a clear and logical game plan and as primed as could be mentally and physically.

    We owe it to our players, to leave no stone unturned.

  88. @Anne-Marie, to be fair to @Galway Exile it was obvious he meant “situation” and not some “enjoyable social activity” when he said “Crack”.

    Just like if the taxi I called still hadn’t turned up an hour later and I rang them back and said, what’s the “craic” with my taxi, I think the operator would figure out what I meant straight away.

    “Craic” can also mean situation.

  89. @ Viper. It depends on what way you look at things.
    Aidan has often been at the top of the motm polls here on the blog and in the top three or 4 performers alot of other times.
    He has, on quite a few occasions in his career taken games by the scruff of the neck and appeared to single handedly win them.
    On the contrary to what you say, I would have seen Aidan as a highly versatile player.
    Has done an outstanding job over the years around the middle. He has also been phenomenal in the tackling and winning the ball back all over the pitch.
    I agree, it’s probably a little harder these days to fit him in the team. Injuries haven’t helped, and the move to a very athletic type of midfielder has moved him out of this area of the pitch.
    I would still, based on the Dublin and Tyrone games say, there is room for Aidan inside. He won almost every ball in both the semi final and final but in fairness to the man, there were two issues to this.
    Scorers in the vicinity for him to give the ball to after him winning it.
    More ball played in to him. We talk about not having a kicking game, and the pity about that is we have the perfect target in Aidan if he was used properly.
    The evidence I’ve seen, the man is more than able to win the balls sent in to him, it’s just that the ball in to him usually dries up after a few efforts. I think it’s because these plays are not fully thought through.
    The ball is sent in.
    Aidan wins the ball.
    No support player in the vicinity (when there was as in the Galway game, a penalty / goal that helped turn that game).
    Aidan then either forced to shoot (not his strong point), or, is forced to try and hold on to the ball until help arrives, usually ending up in been swamped by defenders.

  90. If Mr Heneghan on the Western people thinks Mayo has underachieved then I do wonder what would he call neighbours Galway at senior level off the back of a lot of underage success.

    On Brolly he’s an attention seeker and was kicked off RTÉ for a reason, his tweets and indo opinion pieces are fuel for the keyboard warriors. He regularly visits Mayo and I seen him recently in Ballina with loads looking to get a photo with him. I can’t get my head around that one, he should be ignored not adored in Mayo.

  91. Aragh who gives a shite about Galway, seriously there is no comparison in what heneghan put into the context of why he believed we underachieved by not winning the all Ireland this year , galway havent been in an all Ireland senior final in 20 years ,it has no bearing on what heneghan wrote . I think it was absolutely fantastic how Tyrone management put it to their squad , paraphrasing but it was ” you’re here now dont go home without it , you might never be back ” . Sadly the body language of a lot of our set up said different , ” we’ll be back again , no big deal ” havent seen that in a while either tbh . I’m not suggesting they went out purposely with that attitude but why ever it happened it did , for me ,I just didnt feel it was the same type of effort we’ve become used to and that is evident in the tackling and turnover stats .

  92. Can we please stop this chat of Aidan starting again. Sure he won ball in the first half of the final. But the vast majority of senior/intermediate club players can get out in front and win ball at a high level. It’s what you do with it that counts. We need a scoring threat. Simple as. It’s not enough to win ball. Aidan has been a great servant but we need to move on. My biggest fear is we start next year with the usual “we go again” with the same old approach.

  93. Its funny but I never saw one bit of abuse of any player online, most likely because I had enough sense to avoid social media in the days after we lost our 11th All Ireland. In the day and age we live in are people genuinely that innocent or deluded to believe the rubbish that 31 counties wanted Mayo to win? I’m around long enough to know that there are people who don’t like me because I’m from Mayo, Irish, white, catholic etc etc. I therefore try to avoid situations where I know conflict is likely, I won’t wear a Mayo jersey on the Shankill on July 12th again let me tell you.
    Apart from the predictable shite out of the little man Brolly, I think most of the analysis was fair and we have to be able to examine what was a pathetic final display. It seems that certain quarters are using the sporadic online abuse of certain players to shut down all discussion in much the same same way politicians will use one random sexist, racist or homophobic comment to stifle debate or deflect from wrongdoing.
    I am one of James Horan’s biggest supporters, however, his sideline acumen in can be extremely poor.
    2012 match ups
    2013 Dublin 14 men effectively for final 15 minutes
    2014 failure to deal with Donaghy
    2020 Bringing on Plunkett instead of Higgins at half time when Dublin down to 14
    2021 match ups, substitutions ,no game plan
    When you see what kind of management teams are being assembled in Kerry, together with Dublin coming back and now Tyrone in the mix, I’ve a feeling we’ll be looking back fore longingly on 2021 as the worst one yet to get away.

  94. Personally dont think Horan is blameless but any mistake he made wasnt the losing of the game , it still could have been won is my point .
    The more I read into this caroline Currid the more I’m thinking it’s the route we need to go.

  95. I mean is someone like her the difference in loftus smashing the net with composure in that chance he fluffed ? Cause we know hes capable for sure

  96. He’s more than capable, Sean, as many other current and previous Mayo forwards are/were. That’s what does my head in. Look at the positions Conor was getting into. That in itself takes a forwards instinct, and skill to be part of creating those chances. The bloody hard work was done in effect. The hard work was done!! If nerves weren’t present he’d have scored the bulk of his opportunities, including the goal.

    Then you have the Pat Spillanes shitting on Mayo forwards. He’s always done this and if anything it only adds to the pressure and I suspect Spillane knows this.

    It’s the psychological thing we need to get right. The talent is there. Think I read recently that Currid has unfortunately committed to another set-up for the coming season.

  97. Both of Tyrone’s goals were palm-ins FFS. Feck all skill required. It’s just momentum, fuelled by our misses at the other end. Gaelic football isn’t a very structured or complicated sport. Tyrone defended with a blanket most of the time when we had the ball. When our opportunities broke down they countered, and I’ll acknowledge that they do this very well. But I certainly didn’t see any scintillating forward play from them. The game was there for whoever wanted it or, more accurately, whoever could hold their nerve more.

  98. @Revellino, Of course Aidan has done an outstanding job over the years around the middle but given his age, wear and tear, lack of speed, the Croke Park factor and the fact Tyrone are not what you would describe as an orthodox team, I still believe his optimal position against Tyrone was at full forward but as I explained earlier you must have a tactical plan in place to make the best use of Aidan at full forward.

    @mayomick2, I think you are missing the point regarding optimal use of Aidan, sending low ball into Aidan for him to win out in front is an absolute waste of time and is not using his height advantage, ball winning capabilities and strength to it’s full advantage at all, what I am talking about is good diagonal ball, the type of ball which led to McShanes goal, that’s the type of ball and I don’t agree with you that it’s not enough just to win ball, because if you’re winning of ball contributes to more goal scoring opportunities for others and I believe his own scoring returns would also increase as well as a consequence then it’s optimal use.

    @Mayomagic, don’t worry about Galway or anyone else, I couldn’t care less about anyone else apart from Mayo and trying to help in any way possible to win a final and if you feel Brolly is insulting Mayo then you let a great chance slip if you saw him but ignored him, maybe that’s why he persists, if people are afraid to give him a bit of their mind. Would he insult a county like Armagh and expect to be able to walk through Crossmaglen or drink in the pubs there without been challenged ? Or is he just exposing some perceived type of mental softness in Mayo, putting his theory to the test by taunting the locals in Ballina ?

    @Evidently Binghamstown, It’s funny you say that because the English FA faced similar accusations following the defeat to Italy, they were accused of hiding behind a smokescreen of rightful condemnation of the shocking online abuse as a tool to deflect from stern but fair criticism of some of the decisions made by Gareth Southgate.

    @Liberal role in the tie, Pat Spillane is a dinosaur and knows absolutely nothing about modern day football. He’s set in his ways and that’s one of the biggest dangers to modern day management, you must keep moving and innovating and have a sharp tactical brain. You are bang on the money regarding palmed in goals, something I’ve been banging my head off the wall about for a long time, when is the penny going to drop to everyone that work needs to be done on creating these type of goals and they are far easier to create than scoring three points against a team like Tyrone and you don’t need super stars to palm the ball into the net.

    Jim Gavin has a very high IQ and he used it to great effect to make Dublin into what they were under him.

    It’s time Mayo started using brain over brawn and maybe looked at the national criticism as a collective kick in the a**e and a call to wake up on every front.

    There are two ways you can look at criticism, you can dismiss it completely and perceive everything which is being said as an “insult” or you can read it carefully and ask yourself is there any truth in what the writer is saying here and have the bravery to admit yes there is merit in what they are saying, maybe not on every point, but on some.

    I would defend Mayo to the death if someone insulted my County just for the sake of it but that doesn’t mean that I believe we are in any way above criticism if it is warranted, justified and constructive.

    Constructive criticism can be very helpful but not if you perceive it as an insult, because all you are doing then is feeding the narrative that “those people are incapable of learning from their mistakes”.

  99. @Sean Burke and Viper

    Give a shite/care because they are Mayos nearest and dearest neighbours with a long history and tradition between the two.

    My point was If Mayo had done what Galway have done no AI Final since 2001 then what would Mr Heneghan call it?

    Mayos preparation for this championship was playing in a poor Div 2, lost a top and best scoring forward due to injury reached this final by beating Dublin, looking back it was over achievement to reach this year’s final

  100. Fair enough mayo magic, I was a bit too quick with my aggressive tone there ,in my defence my point was about contextualising the crux of hennigans point which didnt cover anything about underage to senior development, I feel that’s a different argument in the sense that he used a bar of senior success exclusively and Galway havent had a lot in recent times to bring them into it .

    Funny enough I’m not convinced Galway would have lost to Tyrone in an all Ireland final if the chance arose .

  101. @ Viper. Say we use Aiden and seve up diagonal ball like you suggest… I dont know…most of time I feel it will come straight out again. High ball into him against the Dubs over the years…. not much off seemed to stick from memory. Although I can’t give you any stats on that! I just feel that that top class defenders seem to have his number…hence why he never really had a big final in croker. He is no mcshane..clever and cute, nightmare for defenders… Speaking as a ex full back myself, nothing made me happier that to see a lad like Aiden walk up to me. You can let them win the ball out in front everytime and you focus on cutting off his pass/lay off…because they possess little scoring threat themselves. Anytime the ball comes in high…you just get a fist on it. Job done. I guess my pt is Aiden is very predictable as a forward. Even if we play exactly to his strengths…i still dont think he would bother a top class defender. When a player like mcshane comes up you know you are leaking scores off them all day long!

  102. @Mayomagic, Why should I care about Roscommon or Galway when we have enough to be caring about in our own county ?

    There are plenty in each of those counties delighted that Mayo lost, don’t worry about that.

    And why do you call Anthony Hennigan, Mr Hennigan ?

    Reminds me of when Horan referred to Jim McGuinness as Mr. McGuinness after they had a bit of a falling out.

  103. @Mayomick2, I understand what you are saying but I’m not talking about a Kieran Donaghy type role where he can win his own ball and bury the ball in the back of the net although Aidan was able to do that a few years ago against Donegal even with Neil McGee on him.


    He may not bother a top class defender when it comes to scoring but that wasn’t the primary role I had in mind for him but having watched Tyrone closely v Kerry I had expected us to play with a lot of width and get fast ball in which would have negated one of Tyrones key strengths but it is crystal clear that there was no plan for him to lay ball off to the runners because they simply were not there, as I mentioned before if you watch the game again just before Ryan took the free which led to the penalty, Paddy is in possession out wide, Aidan is in at full forward and the only other Mayo player inside the Tyrone 45 is Ryan, so 3 Mayo players and one of them a defender against 8 Tyrone, so while a good diagonal ball was on there was no support.

    So what was the forward planning there or was there any ?

    I don’t think we are doing enough work on creating high percentage goal scoring opportunities at all, the type that any player can palm into the back of the net.

    Dublin had it off to a T and we should have learned from them, goals win games and it’s easier to score a palmed in goal than any of the chances we had.

    So that area of our game needs urgent attention.

  104. @Mayomagic, I don’t buy into that overachievement lark at all, a total and utter smokescreen, that’s all it is.

    I don’t care if we arrived at the final in an ambulance, the fact is we did not win a game we were capable of winning.

    On reflection, I would actually rank it as our worst final loss in history for the simple reason that we have been knocking on the door for so many years compared to 2012 for example.

    So it’s understandable many smokescreens will be blown to try and hide the reality.

  105. @Viper, The Aiden O Shea Goal in the video clip, 2015 ironically under the management of Holmes and Connelly.. terrific goal, excellent kicked delivery by Séamus O Shea as well.. regardless of who is in our full forward line next year, personally I James Carr could do enormous damage with balls like that particular delivery,.. So too could, Cillian, Tommy Conroy, Darren Coen Aiden if we’re going to persist with him, and if the ball comes in accurate enough and you can’t make something out of it.. maybe replace the player, but the game needs to be mixed up.. now in the All Ireland Semifinal and Replay v Dublin in 2015, Aiden did not thrive at all.. and it wasn’t all Aiden’s fault either, the Dublin full back line seemed to be able to foul Aiden with impunity.. 2015 is probably not the best indication of how effective any player will be in 2022, but the strategy of mixing up the game with a number of long accurate kick passes for me is a no brainier.. I think that we have a number of players who could potentially thrive on the long accurate ball.. As well as keeping the opposition guessing, it saves your ball carrying runners,both in terms of them having the nessary stamina to finish the match well, and avoid collisions.. which is good, training for this type of mixed game might avoid some collisions in training and some injuries we could do without!

  106. @Viper it was a overachievement certainly. Fell to Div 2 for a reason and nobody including the majority of Mayo supporters thought the dubs would be taken out in the semi final.

    In the terms of worst final losses I’d look at 1996 v Meath or 2016, 2017 when Dublin was there to be beat but Mayo found ways to lose those finals.

    Tyrone was the better team on the day with better impact off the bench as simple as that.

  107. @MO2021, Which part was the overachievement ? Reaching the final or losing a final to a team who were the premium overachievers ?

    Even if I were to agree with you that we overachieved reaching the final, are you saying Tyrone didn’t overachieve ?

    Changed their management team, tweaked their system, leathered by Kerry in the league, got through Ulster, covid crisis, training totally disrupted, defeated the red hot All-Ireland favorites, and went on to totally outsmart Mayo, now that’s what you call an overachievement.

    Who even thinks of how a team got there when they reach a final ?

    You know as well as I do that we totally underachieved in the final regardless of how we got there and that’s what a team is assessed on at the end of the day.

    The referee didn’t rob us v Tyrone, he didn’t need to, we robbed ourselves in many ways so that’s one reason I rate it as our worst final loss ever.

    This final has reached number one in terms of being the worst loss ever, there’s a lot of good football people still absolutely enraged by what went on and I’ll tell you one thing that’s keeping the rage simmering, it’s people putting out totally false narratives instead of manning up and showing a bit of bloody steel and critically analyzing in a respectful manner why we were not 100% in every aspect of our preparation, game management and performance.

    I respect your views but I totally and absolutely disagree with them because they completely fail in any way shape or form to address the issues, they are merely solace but if they comfort you and others then who am I to criticize.

  108. @Viper. Pebblesmeller is correct about the pubs in Achill. Packed all last summer. One pub nearly lost its licence because of the numbers not adhering to Covid restrictions. No problem getting a drink in Achill last summer.

  109. The overachievement was reaching the final. Tyrone would likely have said the same if they had lost it but more expected them to beat Kerry than Mayo beat Dublin.

    The final was 50/50 going into in my view and on the day simply beaten by the better team so I can hold my hand up there while Mayo have lost other finals when the better side on the day and for me they are worse finals to lose

  110. @Dooniver swifts, but all the pubs weren’t open there last summer, I know that because I was there.

  111. Viper, I’m glad to see that you respect other views. You express your own views, which you strongly believe, but it’s important to recognise that others may have thought deeply to reach theirs too.

    As a matter of interest, neither Kerry under Keane nor Mayo under Horan defeated Logan and Dooher on their maiden voyage this year. Neither did other Ulster teams.
    This does not necessarily make that management team a matter for wonder and a yardstick to measure all others against.
    Tyrone played Dublin in the AI Final 2018 using a defensive counter attacking style.
    Dublin proved capable of dismantling it, and if they were in 2018 form this year, they would also have dismantled it.
    Seeing as Dublin were not at peak powers , were Kerry (2019 finalists) and Mayo (2020 & 2021 finalists) capable of breaking down that style with comfort?
    *I think neither team like playing that game* and in Mayo’s case, with a ‘young team’ it makes it all the harder.
    There is an argument to be made that style of football had a role in Tyrone’s win this year (with added elements), and in that, there was continuity under Harte and Logan/Dooher.
    Perhaps, come the moment, come the team.
    I hope you don’t mind if I say I find your project management and additional ideas have a lot of merit also and are very clearly expressed.
    Just in case people believe I am trying to make excuses, I am not – I am trying to understand the context, which is necessary before any viable plan can be put into place.

  112. Viper; I was there most of last summer and after 28th June I had no problem getting a drink. Plenty of bars open, some flaunting Covid regulations, throughout the summer.. Its laughable for you to say that most tourists in Achill last summer wouldn’t know Brolly. Most of the tourists in Achill were Irish.

  113. @Dooniver swifts,

    “Its laughable for you to say that most tourists in Achill last summer wouldn’t know Brolly”

    I never said such a thing, what I said is that if anyone was making a fuss of him it was likely tourists from the North and they are Irish also. Have a read of my post again. Brolly would be a nobody there.

    You would have to have a very boring life if you thought Brolly was in any way a celeb and I’m sure Achill is well used of having real celebs visit.

    You are totally misquoting me there, totally.

  114. @viper, get a grip. I never ever said Brolly was a celeb, as I pointed out to you before when you defended his despicable article. When you are proved wrong ,you resort to petty insults . You are also wrong about only North visitors making a fuss of him. Pebblesmeller pointed out a friend’s daughter has a selfie with him and sure he’s treated like a hero in Ballina.

  115. @Dooniver swifts, I really think you are getting my post mixed up with someone else, I really do.

    This is my post again:

    “I know the place well and I was there last summer as I am most years and there was hardly a place open even though it was thronged with tourists, four times more tourists than locals and the few restaurants and the odd gastro pub which were open were well spread out over the island and it was difficult to get a table so unless your friends daughter was following him around the island watching people buying him drink then I’ll take it with a large pinch of salt.

    If anyone did make a fuss of him anywhere I’d bet my bottom dollar it was tourists from the North as the place was thronged with them because he would be a nobody to locals in Achill.”

    Now tell me where I said “most tourists in Achill last summer wouldn’t know Brolly” or where “I defended his despicable article” or where “I resorted to petty insults”.

    I’m sorry but I’m not having anyone misquoting me or accusing me wrongly.

    I may have strong views but I don’t insult anyone so I’m not taking that because it’s a complete fabrication.

    Did you see tourists making a fuss of Brolly everywhere he went ?

    I’m not getting bogged down talking about Joe Brolly, he’s a nobody to me, ok.

    But go ahead, point out where I insulted anyone or else retract.

  116. @Dooniver swifts and when I said:

    “You would have to have a very boring life if you thought Brolly was in any way a celeb and I’m sure Achill is well used of having real celebs visit”

    I am not referring to you personally I am referring to “people in general” which is a perfectly acceptable use of the word.


  117. @Swallow Swoops, yes I have heard this young team argument put forward already but lets see if there’s actually any truth in that at all because I don’t really buy it too much, so this was the starting 15 v Tyrone and their ages:

    Rob Hennelly – 31

    Stephen Coen – 26
    Lee Keegan – 31
    Pádraig O’Hora – 28
    Paddy Durcan – 26
    Oisin Mullin – 21
    Michael Plunkett – 25

    Mattie Ruane – 25
    Conor Loftus – 26

    Diarmuid O’Connor – 26
    Bryan Walsh – 25
    Kevin McLoughlin – 32
    Tommy Conroy – 22
    Aidan O’Shea – 31
    Ryan O’Donoghue – 23

    With an average age of over 26, can anyone really use the excuse of a “young team” or am I missing something ?

    I wouldn’t describe that as a young team, in fact I’d say it’s more youth we need in it.

  118. Viper, I was using ‘young team’ as shorthand and can’t expect you to have read my mind.
    What I mean is that six of the starting fifteen were either in their first or second Senior Championship year with Mayo. They are as follows:
    Pádraig O’Hora
    Michael Plunkett
    Oisín Mullin
    Bryan Walsh
    Tommy Conroy
    Ryan O’Donoghue

    Mattie Ruane is in year 3.

    The full back line and full forward line, in particular, contained relative novices at senior championship level. They didn’t have a Division One League behind them this year either.
    The midfield pairing is still relatively novel (though Loftus is certainly very experienced).

    The aspect of this that is meaningful for me is that this team is learning to play as a unit and to be a threatening force. Perhaps defensive counterattacking football has not been first on their list of priorities for breaking down as they managed their progress in 2020 and 2021.

    I am merely stating this as a possibility, not offering an excuse.

  119. @Swallow Swoops, yes of course you are correct but we can equally say the same about Brian Kennedy and Conn Kilpatrick of Tyrone and they cleaned us out.

    Rob Hennelly is 31 and I’m sure he will be disappointed that he didn’t drive his fist through ball and man for the McShane goal, he’ll also likely regret being caught in no mans lands for the other goal and we can’t say he’s not an experienced goalkeeper.

    We could also say the same about Conor Loftus, we cannot blame inexperience for him not scoring, actually I think his chance was the best of all, even better than the penalty.

    I could point to plenty other examples but what’s the point

    Our two youngest forwards contributed 10 points out of the total of 11 from the forward unit so where does that leave the “Young” v “Experienced” argument ? In tatters I think.

    And in the managerial stakes how did the “Young” v “Experienced” argument end ? Also in tatters.

    That’s why I pay very little heed to that type of argument.

    It’s wasn’t our “Young” boys who let us down.

  120. Viper, we are probably not completely in disagreement. I’m trying to make a point that is at a tangent – that I believe we are a team that have been building, that *has* had a project going on, and that I think it’s unfair to slate James Horan completely as if his set-up had severe deficits. I’m not saying you are doing that but some people are. I just worry that this is a rush to judgement without understanding all that was at play.
    As it happens, I personally would have preferred if the team/manager had spent some time going into detail to identify some of Tyrone’s likely tactics and negate those. It appears that this wasn’t their approach. But that was a tactical choice he made, that I assume was weighed up.
    The point I tried to make – not very clearly perhaps – about inexperience relates specifically to Mayo playing a team that uses a defensive counterattacking style. You need to be on top of your game, in my humble opinion, to counter this. Tyrone, including their younger players, used this weapon and are proficient at it. They were in their element. We were not. On top of that, they man marked our players closely and strategically throughout the field and this caused Loftus and others all sorts of bother. I think you (Mayo, Dublin, Kerry) need unity, time and precision to prepare to counter this.
    Yes, Tyrone had inexperienced players too.
    And as a counter to me, one could also say that Horan’s team in 2011 and 2012 was full of inexperienced players.
    I don’t wish to linger long on this point but I do feel the factors of six inexperienced players and a defensive counterattacking team come into the mix somewhere, and I just wanted to state that.

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