Donaghy counters Cavanagh’s Kerry ‘animals’ taunt

Kieran Donaghy: ’I remember it as a sign of respect for Mickey.

Kieran Donaghy has hit back at Seán Cavanagh’s remarks about Kerry supporters’ behaviour during the counties’ 2012 All-Ireland qualifier in Killarney.

Cavanagh wrote in the Irish Daily Star yesterday that the late Páidí Ó Sé was right in referring to the county’s football followers as “animals”.

The former Tyrone captain also dismissed Kerry fans’ applause for Mickey Harte as the Tyrone manager made his way to the team bus after his team’s defeat as “a wee bit patronising”.

Shortly before that backdoor game, two hotel workers accused of murdering Harte’s daughter Michaela on her honeymoon in Mauritius were deemed not guilty. Days later, a piece on the Tyrone website praised the reception given to Harte.

Speaking to Off The Ball AM yesterday, Donaghy countered Cavanagh’s claim. “That is very much the opposite way of how I remember it. The last thing it was was patronising.

“I think the Kerry people were amazed by Mickey Harte at how he had been able to function as Tyrone manager and do a good job with them. I was there when it was going on, and if you’re calling it patronising then you can say Paul Galvin and Mickey Harte’s hug afterwards was patronising. The Kerry fans couldn’t go and hug Mickey on the pitch like Paul got to, so they clapped the team onto the bus.

“There might have been one or two mad fellas there giving fists up to the bus and maybe Seán saw one of those guys, but I remember it as a sign of respect for Mickey Harte in doing the job in such circumstances.”

Cavanagh, who was injured for the qualifier and sat in the stand, recalled the home fans being like “absolute dogs” but Donaghy thinks the former captain took too much notice of what was being said.

“I’ve heard plenty of stuff off Tyrone fans and half my family are from Tyrone.

“I’ve heard stuff from Mayo fans, awful stuff from Dublin fans, and that’s just what fans do.

“Whatever they said, Seán is very precious anyway if he’s going to be worried about what fans are saying to him. If you’re going to talk about everyone who gives out to you in the crowd, we’re going to be in for a long day.”

Meanwhile, Colm Cooper has praised Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor as he is on the cusp of breaking his all-time Championship scoring record at the age of just 27.

As the former Mayo captain stands just five points off (23-279) overtaking Cooper’s 23-283, the Dr Crokes man has acknowledged his contributions.

“It looks money on that he’s going to do it this weekend in Killarney and he’s going to deserve it,” Cooper told the RTÉ GAA Podcast.

What I like about Cillian O’Connor and it gets people a bit mad is he plays on the edge. He gets stuck in a few fracases, he kicks the ball away, he’s a very streetwise, experienced player.

"He calms everyone around him, he sets the tone for this team with his tackling and they are so much a better team when he’s in it.”

CORK (U20 FC v Waterford): J. O’Keeffe (Newmarket); M. O’Mahony (Knocknagree), M. Shanley (Clonakilty), P. Ring (Aghabullogue); G.O’Donovan (Newcestown), S. Hickey (Millstreet), P. O’Driscoll (c, Ilen Rovers); B. Hartnett (Douglas), E. O’Hanlon (Kilshannig); C. Barrett (St Finbarrs), B. Murphy (St Vincents), M. Hodnett (Carbery Rangers); M. Cronin (Nemo Rangers), C. O’Mahony (Mitchelstown), D. Gore (Kilmacabea).

Subs: I. Giltinan, J. McCarthy (both Carrigaline), F.Herlihy (Dohenys), D. O’Connell (Kanturk), R. Maguire (Castlehaven), J. McCarthy (Éire Óg), B. Hayes (St Finbarrs), D. Buckley (Newcestown), C. O’Callaghan (Éire Óg).

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