Dundalk's anger at 'gutter' taunts
The heat has been turned up ahead of Sunday's FAI Cup final after the Dundalk camp accused Cork City of a "lack of class" and "gutter" behaviour.
There have been tensions between the two clubs for some time, but especially in the aftermath of events following last season's meeting of the rivals in the Cup final.
Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny yesterday confirmed that immediately after the 2016 final (won by Cork), a Cork player phoned Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell to taunt him.
Cork keeper Mark McNulty was later that night seen on camera mocking Dundalk from the stage at a celebration function.
And McNulty repeated that only last week as Cork celebrated their league title success, shouting "F*** the Lilywhites" on stage at a similar event. The footage has been widely circulated on social media, and the Dundalk squad are very unhappy with McNulty.
"I think you can have rivalry, teams don't have to like each other, that's normal, there is nothing abnormal about that. But I think there has to be a sporting respect, you have to have a sporting respect. That sort of out of the gutter really," Kenny said when asked about McNulty.
"Stephen O'Donnell is the most successful captain in the modern times. He carries himself with great dignity, but ringing down the phone when we're coming out of the stadium, taunting him on the phone? You've seen 'F the Lilywhites' whatever it is. What he (McNulty) is doing there is insulting all of those Dundalk players in the past."
Dundalk defender Brian Gartland was also angry. "It says nothing about us but says everything about them, we carry ourselves with a bit of class when we win," Gartland told The Herald.
"I don't think it looks good, I wouldn't like it if one of our lads did that and I would be embarrassed if I had done that. We want to win the Cup anyway but stuff like that gets your back up more."