herald

Sunday 25 June 2017

Selfie-gate and tit-for-tat row

Flynn in firing line from Mayo after bizarre O'Shea barb

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea drives a pass into his forward line during yesterday’s Connacht SFC quarter-final match victory over Sligo at Elvery’s MacHale Park, Castlebar. Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea drives a pass into his forward line during yesterday’s Connacht SFC quarter-final match victory over Sligo at Elvery’s MacHale Park, Castlebar. Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The joke went around that Aidan O'Shea came on twice for Mayo in Castlebar yesterday just so he could bask in two separate rounds of applause.

In the context of the largely bizarre tsunami of abuse which howled itself towards O'Shea over the past week, this was harmless parody.

Thankfully, a few people came to O'Shea's rescue over the weekend, even if his performance in a nothing sort of victory over Sligo did little to appease those who expect Michael Murphy impressions from the big Breaffy man.

In his role as match analyst from the Connacht SFC opener on Newstalk yesterday, James Horan surmised that "Bernard Flynn made an absolute tit of himself," by suggesting that O'Shea's participation in what young people and Bernard Flynn now call 'selfies' after a challenge match with Meath whilst his team conducted their warm-down epitomised everything that was wrong with Aidan O'Shea.

The fun didn't stop there.

Conor Mortimer had a pop too, comparing a Tweet promoted by Flynn referring to the 48-week suspension issued to Antrim footballer as "a load of utter boll**" to "your (Flynn's) opinion on AOS".

Flynn's response was spiky and at the time of going to print, unsurprisingly unrequited.

"Conor," he began, "if you had the same balls to say publicly what you said about him to me behind his back in certain media studios you'd be better off."

Flynn, who earlier this year drew the ire of Dublin supporters for what he later clarified was a tongue-in-cheek assertion that Philly McMahon deserved "1 or 2 dozen (elbows)" after the Ballymun Kickhams defender took one on the chin from Mayo's Cillian O'Connor back in March, sought to explicate his stance on Selfie-Gate in his newspaper column published on Saturday.

In it, Flynn outlined for some reason that he "didn't write an article criticising Aidan".

"The events of that evening were huge to me," he explained, "and I hope the genuine Mayo football supporter takes on board my very honest and fair assessment of what I saw - and realise that my experience as a past player has shown me what it takes to win."

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