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Thursday 15 November 2018

Mayo admit causing 96 brawl with Meath

While Meath (as usual) got most of the blame for the incidents in that never-to-be-forgotten All-Ireland final replay which resulted in the sending-off of Liam McHale and Colm Coyle, it seems that the Westerners are now prepared to accept responsibility.In his report to the Ma

MAYO have finally admitted that they caused the row that marred the 1996 All-Ireland final replay with Meath.

While Meath (as usual) got most of the blame for the incidents in that never-to-be-forgotten All-Ireland final replay which resulted in the sending-off of Liam McHale and Colm Coyle, it seems that the Westerners are now prepared to accept responsibility.

In his report to the Mayo County Convention, secretary Sean Feeney placed the blame for the infamous brawl firmly at the door of the Mayo players.

Feeney’s revelation comes amidst an attack on some sections of the local media. Though he doesn’t mention names, one man who does come in for criticism is former player Anthony Finnerty, who writes a weekly column in the ‘Mayo News’.

Finnerty recently wrote an article criticising the Mayo Board on its record of appointing and retaining managers.

In the early part of his report in relation to the 1989 All-Ireland final, Feeney writes: ‘If journalist Anthony Finnerty had put the ball in the net when he should have done, Mayo would have won and John O’Mahony would have been canonised.

‘If the players who started the fight in Croke Park in 1996 had shown the same enthusiasm in stopping the Meath backs from launching attack after attack, Mayo would have won and John Maughan crowned king.’

However, Western People sports editor Padraig Burns hits back at Feeney’s comments. ‘Having a dig at Anthony Finnerty because of his published views on the system that has selected Mayo managers in the past decade is, to put it mildly, very unfair and unwarranted.

‘Why not go the whole hog and bring John Madden into it for allowing the ball hop over the bar in the drawn game in 1996 or John Maughan for some of his selections?

‘Who was the secretary of the Mayo County Board when Mayo and Meath players started fighting in Croke Park in 1996? It was Sean Feeney. Did he condemn the Mayo players who ‘started the fight’ at the time?



‘To the best of my knowledge he didn’t, but he’s now admitting that it was the Mayo players who started the fight. That’s some admission. That will disappoint a lot of people who always thought it was Meath who initiated it. Now we know the truth.’

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