Kieran Donaghy: My All-Ireland final gesture not about Philly McMahon

Kerry captain Kieran Donaghy insists he never gestured that Philly McMahon had made contact with his eyes in last month’s All-Ireland final.

Donaghy, who in the wake of the game had stated no disciplinary action should have come from the incident, said there was never any danger of the Dublin defender damaging his eyes.

However, McMahon has since been banned for one game arising from the matter.

“I was fighting for my life for a ball,” he told Radio Kerry’s Terrace Talk. “I was just trying to fight for my life for the ball and I remember just getting the ball and the next thing I remember the ref blowing the whistle and giving a hop ball.

“My pointing going out was ‘why was it a hop ball?’ It was either a free in to me because I won it and there were three of them pulling out of me or a free out for over-carrying. ‘What’s the hop ball for? He didn’t have an answer for me, he threw it up and we went on from there. We nearly got a break off it but unfortunately it didn’t work out. It was just that kind of a day for us where I think almost the harder we tried the worse it got.”

On the issue of possible eye damage, Donaghy said: “An incident like that could be serious if it happened at a different time but for me it was never going to be anything long term or serious. It’s obviously something you’d like to stay away from in the game. I don’t think he meant it. Whether he did or didn’t, he’s the only one who knows. He was going for the ball, like he said, and I was going for the ball to the best of my abilities.”

Donaghy had his suspicions Eamonn Fitzmaurice wasn’t going to start him in the All-Ireland final. “You can kind of sense the vibes in training. When the A and B team go up on the wall and you have the dreaded look at that wall and see where you are in the pecking order and I was getting the vibe that I was under pressure for my spot. Paul Geaney was going incredibly well and played very well against Tyrone, came on and won the game. He was going exceptionally well in training and you had James (O’Donoghue) and Gooch (Colm Cooper) next to him so I knew I was going to be under pressure.

“Before he (Fitzmaurice) let out the team, he let me know and it was something we chatted about the week before. I kind of said, ‘Don’t be worried about whatever comes of anything’.

“I buried the disappointment fairly quickly because nobody really cares. It’s all about Kerry and Kerry winning.”


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