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Kerry forward made gesture after being struck by missile

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A videograb picture shows Kerry's Kieran Donaghy gesturing to the Mayo fans at Castlebar last
Sunday. The star forward has apologised for the gesture

A videograb picture shows Kerry's Kieran Donaghy gesturing to the Mayo fans at Castlebar last Sunday. The star forward has apologised for the gesture

A videograb picture shows Kerry's Kieran Donaghy gesturing to the Mayo fans at Castlebar last Sunday. The star forward has apologised for the gesture

Kieran Donaghy has apologised for the hand gesture he made to an element of the crowd during the latter stages of Kerry's Allianz NFL defeat to Mayo in Castlebar on Sunday.

TV cameras caught Donaghy raising his middle finger in anger towards a section of the crowd behind one of the goals after he had missed a late chance to equalise.

But it has emerged that he was the target for a flying piece of wood launched from that same section of crowd that narrowly missed his head.

Donaghy also revealed that a coin had struck him on a calf earlier in the game and that an umpire could verify this.

A number of Kerry players had complained afterwards that coins were thrown at goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy in the opening half.

Missiles

Flying missiles aimed at players is uncommon in gaelic games and Donaghy admitted he was shocked by the incidents.

He explained the rationale behind what he did yesterday. "During the latter stages of the game and in the heat of the moment, I used an inappropriate gesture towards the crowd. I apologise unreservedly to spectators and all sports fans alike for any offence that I may have caused by this action."

Donaghy explained that it was the flying piece of wood which darkened his mood for that instant.

"This can be verified by one of the umpires because I was hit by a coin in the calf and when I picked it up, it was a 50 cent coin. I jokingly handed it to one of the umpires and told him that he could buy a packet of crisps with it."

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The match produced a tight finish with Donaghy's effort drifting narrowly wide to hand Mayo a third successive league victory over the All-Ireland champions.

It was at this point that he felt the missile fly by his head.

"I turned in disbelief and saw a number of people pointing to a fan who was in an over-excited state and I took it that he had hurled the missile in my direction.

"As I said, in the heat of the moment, I made a gesture with my finger towards him and the final whistle went."

Donaghy stressed that such abuse had never come his way before in either gaelic football or basketball and he hoped it wouldn't be a future trend.

"You associate hurling coins at players and missiles with other sports like Italian soccer and the professional games but not in our sport. I hope it never again happens in the GAA because our players and supporters have always mingled without any problems."

Donaghy is not expected to face any charges from the GAA for the gesture because of the circumstances.


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