Sunday 15 September 2019

O'Mahony: There was no witch hunt against Gough

Referee David Gough. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Referee David Gough. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kerry's Aidan O'Mahony finds the notion entertaining. That the county had decided David Gough shouldn't referee the All-Ireland final and they dispatched Agents O'Mahony and Fitzmaurice to start the conversation that would ultimately see the Meath man passed over.

As far as O'Mahony is concerned, he was asked a question and he answered it. He didn't want Gough in the final because he lives and works in Dublin. And now that the Meath official has been confirmed as the man in the middle, he expects everyone just to get on with it.

"Look, we weren't out there trying to do a media witch hunt to put pressure on him," said the Paddy Power ambassador. "It was just me being asked a question, I answered it and I think Eamonn Fitzmaurice gave his opinion as well. It isn't that we're on a WhatsApp group saying, 'Jesus, I'll put something up now and you put something up later'.

"I could say from the journalists' side, they were making a big song and dance about it that we shouldn't have said this but if I'm asked my opinion on something, I'll give it."

So, no Kerry mafia pulling the strings?

Mafia

"Jesus Christ, I played with them for 13 or 14 years so I suppose you'd like to be part of the mafia! Ah lookit, there's no mafia. They were going on about the weekend that there was a big thing going to be set up outside Fitzgerald Stadium, the open day, that they were going picketing and there was one person there. Jesus Christ almighty.

"I think it got two more days out of that. No, there's no mafia against it. It's just lads giving their opinion on it."

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O'Mahony played as a sweeper in the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final when Gough missed a late frontal charge by Dublin's Kevin McManamon on Peter Crowley, but he expects Kerry to try take them on all over the pitch.

"They need to go man for man. You can't stand off them, we learned that ourselves. The hardest thing with Dublin is you can start with someone and Cormac Costello or someone might come in with 10 minutes to go and your tongue is out of your mouth and he is trying to make a point like he did when he came on against Mayo and kicked three or four points that year. That's the biggest thing that Kerry face."

O'Mahony also branded Sean Cavanagh's comments, where he suggested Mickey Harte's time as Tyrone manager might be up, as a cheap shot.

"I've met Mickey Harte several times and he caused us plenty of heartache in 2005, 2008 but I've massive respect for him.

"I just think for a player to cut the legs off him so easily, you seen Owen Mulligan came out about it the last day as well. I just think it was a bit of a cheap shot."

Irish Independent

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