Monday 24 October 2016

'The ref didn't see anything. What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch' - Philly McMahon on accusations of foul play

Published 21/09/2015 | 09:03

Dublin's Philly McMahon
Dublin's Philly McMahon

Dublin defender Philly McMahon has spoken about the controversial incident that occurred during yesterday's All-Ireland Final victory over Kerry.

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Jim Gavin's  side saw off the challenge of the Kingdom to claim a 25th Sam Maguire and a third All-Ireland  in five seasons, but one of the main talking points post-match was the controversial incident involving the tigerish corner-back and the Kerry captain.

With four minutes to go in the game, McMahon placed on the face of the substitute and Donaghy appeared to indicate to referee David Coldrick what had occurred. The official did not act on the accusation but it quickly became a talking point on social media and The Sunday Game.

Speaking to Marty Morrissey on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland programme, McMahon claimed he was simply challenging for possession.

"It was a slippy day, the ball was on the ground to be challenged," he said. "I went down to challenge the ball and he's a big lad, trying to get around Kieran Donaghy is hard.

Read more: 'What Philly McMahon did was an absolute disgrace' - Criticism of Dubs defender, and Sunday Game analysis

"It's the heat of the battle. We'd like to say it's part of our culture is humility and the same with the Kerry lads , What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch We shook hands and that was the end of it.

"We’re grown men, we play a physical sport. At the end of the day, the result is what ends it, we shake hands and get on with it."

Speaking later on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, the three-time All-Ireland winner re-iterated his innocence.

"When you are trying to reach around Kieran Donaghy, you really have to reach around. There was nothing intentional, I just went for the ball and that was the outcome," he said.

"The referee didn't see anything. He could have pulled up a lot of incidents there yesterday, but it was my one that was pulled up.

McMahon was tasked with keeping tabs with Colm Cooper, a task he stuck to manfully and even popped up with a point, but said when the game was over, both players shook hands.  The radio presenter asked McMahon if Donaghy shook his hand in light of the controversial incident.

Read more: Video: Tomás Ó Sé says Philly McMahon "has a case to answer" following alleged eye gouging incident

"I don't remember, I was probably running around the pitch at that stage. I did shake a lot of Kerry men's hands.

"This is sport. This is the great thing about GAA is we go battle on the pitch and we shake hands after."

The Sunday Game briefly covered the incident, with Tomás Ó Sé suggesting the player may yet be landed in hot water over the incident.

"In 2009, we won an All-Ireland against Cork and I got a letter in the post saying that I actually stamped on a guy," he said. "He might get a letter in the post soon enough, I'd say.

"On a night like this you don’t want to be highlighting stuff like this and I personally think it’s wrong to be highlighting it on a night like this but there is an issue. There’s a case to be answered.”

Ciaran Whelan also had his say on the controversy.

"Philly plays the game on the edge. He's had a phenomenal year for Dublin in terms of his football. As Tomás said, he probably shouldn't have his hand in there."

Kevin McStay added that "his hand didn't need to be where it was," but some felt the analysis didn't go deep enough.

For-time All-Ireland winner with Kerry Mike Quirke labelled the incident a disgrace.

"Philly McMahon was excellent again today. But what he did to Donaghy was an absolute disgrace," he posted on his Twitter account.

Tony McEntee, a member of the Armagh side that claimed the 2002 All-Ireland with victory over the Kingdom, suggested the panel were afraid to speak their mind on the programme.

"Are you all afraid of legal letters tonight guys. Quit beating round the bush re Philly mc Mahon. Say it as it is."

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