Captain Flynn and vice-captain David Whyte were both sent off in the final win over Celbridge so, according to a little known GAA rule, were prohibited from participating in the presentation ceremony.
Flynn, who retired from Kildare duty in 2016 after more than a decade of service, described it as a ‘bizarre’ rule but acknowledged that he was made aware of the situation shortly before the trophy was handed over.
He chose to hoist it up anyway, lifting it jointly with Whyte, in front of a large group of Moorefield supporters in front of the main pavilion in Newbridge’s St Conleth’s Park.
The dismissals earlier in the game meant that Flynn and Whyte had to sit out their first game of the AIB Leinster club SFC, a narrow win over Portlaoise. They’re eligible to return for Sunday’s semi-final against Rathnew as the separate one-match ban for lifting the cup won’t kick in until the opening game of next year’s Kildare SFC.
“I never have heard of it (the rule) until just as I was about to go up the steps,” said Flynn. “It is a bizarre rule, I’d never heard of it being implemented before. You had a choice, it was strange. I don’t know what you’d do if you were playing for your club and you had a chance to lift the cup? I would put that question to anyone. I made the decision that I wanted to lift the cup.
“David was vice-captain. It was always the case that if we won I was going to lift the cup with him because we’re captain and vice-captain. I know the two of us got sent off and people think we were kind of rubbing it into the county board but it was actually always the plan that if we were to lift it, we’d lift it together. We’ve done that over the years. It wasn’t a dig at the county board or anything.
“If I could make the decision again, I’d lift the cup again. You mightn’t get that chance again in your life.”
Flynn, who lined out at midfield for Kildare in both the 2009 Leinster final and 2010 All-Ireland semi-final, said he’s unsure about the possibility of appealing the unlikely suspension.
“I think there could be some appeal but I’ll let the club deal with it,” he said.
“I’m not too sure of the politics that goes on.”
Aside from having the two players sent off early in the county final, Moorefield also missed a penalty yet somehow led throughout and refused to lose.
“The defensive shift that they put in, with 13 men, it’s probably unheard of for a county final,” said Flynn. “They were underdogs before the county final so I can’t imagine what the odds were after we’d lost two players. And they showed again that they have a great squad last Sunday week against Portlaoise. Without us they played very well.
“We’re back training and we’re trying to fight to get back into the starting team or the subs on Sunday.”