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'Players should be role models'

IT was a footnote on the day but one that reflected particularly well on Paul Flynn even if he didn't expect as much

Minutes after the final whistle in last September's All-Ireland final, as the Fingallians man celebrated with some supporters, he gave away the jersey he had worn in his moment of glory.

The recipient was 11-year-old Amy McNally from Raheny, who has undergone chemotherapy for tumours behind her eyes since the age of four.

Soon, a video of Flynn's gesture went viral, appearing on news and sports websites through the country.

Initially, he was taken aback that the moment was recorded but his explanation is simple.

"I think it's important," he says, "to show example off the pitch as well.

"We're down here in Fingallians today (where this interview took place) and there are over 200 kids here and whether you like it or not, these kids are looking up to you.

"They want to play on the Dublin team. So you're role models. And it's important to be able as a role model to set standards and give a bit back to the community.

"Say for instance - and I don't like to say it because he could be a lovely lad off the pitch - but you look at (Luis) Suarez, he's a role model for so many people across the world.

"And they seen him do that. They love this guy.

"In fairness, the GAA is great like that and a lot of inter-county players are like that (good role models)," he adds, "and I think it is important to show that example."