Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny has accused Cork City players of showing a lack of respect ahead of Sunday’s FAI Cup decider.
Kenny was reacting to the controversy that has arisen following the emergence of footage showing showing City goalkeeper Mark McNulty chanting “Fuck the Lilywhites” during player and fans celebrations at Cork’s Soho Bar last weekend
The video has been widely shared and has led to widespread comment ahead of the club’s clash at the Aviva as Cork try to wrap up an historic league and cup double.
Reacting Kenny suggested such behaviour was disrespectful to existing and former pleyers at Dundalk and pointed to other incidents - including a rant last year, also by McNulty, and a phone call allegedly made from the Cork team bus to Dundalk captain Stephen O’Donnell shortly after the club’s FAI cup victory last year - as signs that Cork City were not showing the respect that his side deserved.
Kenny told the Irish Sun: “What do you associate with the Lilywhites as a football fan?
“You associate people like Tommy McConville, you associate people like Barry Kehoe . . . brilliant players.
“You think of people like Martin Lawlor being 18 years here, people like that.
“What he is doing there is he’s insulting all of those players, all of those players in the past.
“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.”
Dundalk skipper Stephen O’Donnell has played down the incident, however, suggesting that McNulty was merely playing it up for the City fans.
O’Donnell told the Irish Sun: “You’ve got to remember that lads also want to win over fans.
“They want to be a bit of a folk hero and a bit of a legend.
“Look, there is a needle there, there is no point in dressing it up. But I don’t think any of it is nasty or toxic or anything. It’s just a bit of rivalry.
“It’s each to their own how they want to celebrate their achievement. I know from our point of view, when we win things, Cork City wouldn’t even enter our heads when we’re celebrating.”