Mulligan still waiting for apology from Offaly spitter
Leitrim captain Emlyn Mulligan has not yet received an apology from the Offaly player he alleges spat blood at him.
By John Fogarty
Mulligan, a Longford-based Garda, took to Twitter after the Division 4 game in March to make the claim.
An Offaly player was sent off in the game but Mulligan said: “I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never heard back [from him].
“Obviously, I know I made my statement and whether people agreed with me or not, as a sporting player and a GAA footballer I was very disappointed with what happened that day.
“I’ve never heard any feedback as to what happened to that player after that day.
“To a degree, I think it was brushed under the mat, it was all talk for a day or two but after that it just came to a standstill.
“I never even heard if the player received a ban or just get his one match.
“I don’t want to make an issue of it now, nor am I willing to, but I just wanted to voice my opinion because if I didn’t say anything I don’t think there would have been a mention of that day.
“I was just very disappointed to be on the end of an assault to a degree. It was just a horrible thing to happen at any stage.”
Mulligan said he and the panel also feel let down by the four players who were axed for disciplinary reasons.
Admitting he felt “like I got boxed in the face” when he heard they had breached an in-camp agreement, he revealed the quartet — locally reported as Wayne McKeon, Shane Moran and brothers Tomás and Conor Beirne — are unlikely to return to the squad for the remainder of the year.
“Listen, the county board issued a statement there on Tuesday night, but on a personal level it’s just extremely disappointing.
“It’s the opportunity we have to reach a Connacht final for the first time in 13 years, and they don’t come around too often.
“As a group of players and management, we’re just really disappointed with the behaviour of the lads.
“Action had to be taken. No more than any other county, we have rules and regulations, and one of the punishments was automatically being put off the panel.”
Joint managers Barney Breen and George Dugdale have operated alcohol bans since they were appointed at the end of 2011 and the one broken by the four came into place after they defeated New York in Gaelic Park earlier this month.
“Basically, we had the same situation last year with a player [after the SFC game v London],” revealed Mulligan, “but it’s disappointing because four is a large number and it’s the quality of the players who have been got rid of too.
“But look, we’ll battle on, we’ll put the head down. It’s not going to stop us in our quest to make a Connacht final for the first time and hopefully it will just pull us together and get the attitude right [v London] for June 23.”
Mulligan admits off-the-field indiscipline has been a long-term problem for Leitrim. “It’s a kind of a thing in Leitrim, Leitrim will never progress if these boys aren’t punished for their mistakes and I suppose that’s looking at the long term effect.
“In the short term, it will obviously affect the team going into the London game but we’ll just have to put that to the back of our minds and just put the head down.”
As captain, Mulligan is aware of the example that has to be set, especially as they prepare to face London, a team he knows will fully believe they can beat Leitrim.
“The players would be very seldom putting a foot out of line. I’m just truly and utterly disappointed, I suppose, as captain of the team.
“But, at the same time, as captain I want to be leading out 15 or 20 fellas who are willing to put everything into it for the cause of the Leitrim jersey and the Leitrim supporters.”
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