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'I’d say there was elation when people heard he wasn’t going' - In Kilmaine, Oisin Mullin is more than a player

Speculation surrounding the footballing star’s on-off move to AFL side Geelong had a big effect on the people of Kilmaine and his county Mayo

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Mayo supporters were delighted to hear that Oisín Mullin would be staying in Ireland. Photo: Ramsey Cardy

Mayo supporters were delighted to hear that Oisín Mullin would be staying in Ireland. Photo: Ramsey Cardy

Mayo supporters were delighted to hear that Oisín Mullin would be staying in Ireland. Photo: Ramsey Cardy

The night Kilmaine lost the Mayo intermediate semi-final last November, the post-mortem moved on to Murphy’s bar, one of just three remaining in the village. For almost two years, Kilmaine has been no different to everywhere else, often preoccupied with Covid and its implications. But that evening, the football defeat was foremost in local minds, the mood leadened by a compounding loss that people tried not to dwell on: the impending move of Oisín Mullin to the AFL.

It would have crossed the minds of the local people who watched Mayo Gaels get the upper hand in Ballinrobe earlier that Saturday afternoon that this could well have been Mullin’s last day in the jersey. Certainly, it looked like it could be his last for a while. Kilmaine is a small rural club and its football team has spent many years in the lower echelons. It has produced good players and some very good ones, such as Joe McGrath, an All-Star in 1979.


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