Sunday 22 October 2017

Mayo star Aidan O'Shea responds to Bernard Flynn's controversial 'selfie' criticism

Aidan O'Shea poses for a young Mayo after a league game earlier this year
Aidan O'Shea poses for a young Mayo after a league game earlier this year
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Mayo juggernaut Aidan O'Shea has admitted that he quit social media for a time after being criticised for taking selfies with young fans while his teammates warmed down after a challenge game earlier this year.

Two-time All-Ireland winner with Meath Bernard Flynn suggested that O'Shea was more interested in “photographs and selfies” than the team.

Current Mayo boss Stephen Rochford and former manager James Horan were among those who defended O'Shea from the claims but speaking on Off The Ball on Newstalk this evening, O'Shea finally had his say on the issue.

"It is impossible to try and switch off totally. To be honest with you, a lot of the boys just pulled the p**s out of it to be honest," he said.

"I did my best to switch off from it and to be honest, I stayed off social media for a long period of time.

"It got to a stage where I didn't know what games were on the television from a sport point of view but usually I'm well clued into things but I completely zoned out.

"My injury took up a lot of my time and that was totally my focus. You can't control things like that, there is no point trying to lose too much sleep over it or try to fight it. It is what it is."

He continued: "The press is the press and the media have a job to do. I can't control a headline or anything like that.

"I just know from being a player with Mayo and when I was a kid and a supporter, when I became a county footballer, I mad the conscious decision to be obedient to kids. I think it's an important part of what the GAA is about, I think it's an important part of what we're all about in the community.

"Sometimes that gets lost. For me, first of all I'm a Breaffy footballer and Mayo footballer second of all and whether it's a club game in the top end of Mayo, or an inter-county game or some kid walking up the street and they are looking for a picture, I'll do what I asked when I was 10 or 11 years of age and I'll be obliging when I can and I'll always to that.

"From that point of view it's disappointing. GAA players, not just me, the give very freely of their time and do a lot to promote the game."

O'Shea has struggled with injury this year but has been very influential in the qualifier victories over Derry and Clare after Mayo exited the Connacht championship to rivals Galway.

He will be a central figure for Mayo when they play Cork at the Gaelic Grounds on July 22.

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