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Aidan O'Mahony denies Kerry 'witch hunt' against All-Ireland final referee David Gough

Kerry great Aidan O'Mahony has insisted he isn't part of any Kingdom "mafia" and that there was no orchestrated campaign or "witch hunt" to prevent David Gough from refereeing the All-Ireland final.

Aidan O'Mahony denies Kerry 'witch hunt' against All-Ireland final referee David Gough

Kerry great Aidan O'Mahony has insisted he isn't part of any Kingdom "mafia" and that there was no orchestrated campaign or "witch hunt" to prevent David Gough from refereeing the All-Ireland final.

Former defender O'Mahony stated in his Paddy Paddy News column before Gough's appointment that the Meath man "shouldn't be allowed to ref the All-Ireland final, he lives in Dublin and you need a neutral referee, that's how I feel".

The five-time All-Ireland winner's comments followed claims by ex-Kerry player and manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice that it would be an "injustice" if Gough was appointed.

Experienced Gough, who angered Kerry fans with his failure to award a free for a foul on Peter Crowley late in the 2016 semi-final loss to Dublin, subsequently got the nod for the September 1 rematch between the old rivals.

O'Mahony, speaking in Dublin at a Paddy Power News event today, said that "the media ran with a story that suited themselves" in relation to his comments and maintained that he and Fitzmaurice didn't act in league.

"Look, we weren't out there trying to do a media witch hunt to put pressure on him (Gough)," said O'Mahony. "It was just me being asked a question, I answered it and I think Eamonn Fitzmaurice gave his opinion as well.

"It isn't that we're on a WhatsApp group saying, 'Jesus, I'll put something up now and you put something up later'. I could say from the journalists' side that they were making a big song and dance about it and, 'We shouldn't have said this' but if I'm asked my opinion on something, I'll give it."

O'Mahony added that there is no collection of former Kerry players and management figures privately plotting Dublin's downfall.

"There's no mafia against it (Gough's appointment)," he said. "It's just lads giving their opinion on it."

O'Mahony clarified that he has 'no problem' with Gough taking charge of the final.

"To answer it, look, he's reffing the All-Ireland final, I've no problem with that," he said. "I suppose the players and the management there at the moment, they won't even look at that.

"They've enough to be concentrating on now for the next couple of weeks, the talk about the five-in-a-row and stuff so he's reffing the All-Ireland final and it's no different to a player starting his first All-Ireland final, you say best of luck to him."

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