Monday 19 March 2018

'There were search parties out, police were called' - Tyrone star recalls drinking session the week before All-Ireland

Jack O'Toole

Three-time All-Ireland winner Owen Mulligan revealed a drinking session he had with former teammate Raymond Mulgrew the week before Tyrone played Kerry in the 2008 All-Ireland final.

Tyrone were going for their third All-Ireland title in six years when Mulligan and Mulgrew went drinking the week before the final without their phones.

Mulligan said that the police and Tyrone captain Brian Dooher were both called in relation to the pair's whereabouts and that their excuse of going to watch a Mary Black concert didn't wash with Tyrone management when quizzed on their activities.

"We went for a nice bite to eat and I met up with a friend I had met in Australia," recalled Mulligan on TG4's Laochra Gael on Thursday.

"We had good craic and I said to him 'Raymond, we'll take a pint of Guinness, just for iron purposes'.

"He said 'we'll do alright' so one thing led to another and we had about five pints, then the gin started, and this was the week before the All-Ireland final.

"It just got really, really out of hand. Our phones were in the jeep at the time and there were search parties, the police were called, Brian Dooher was phoned, Mickey Harte was phoned. It was crazy like, but we got up the next day and we had to go home.

"We pretended we were at a Mary Black concert but it didn’t wash. The two of us went up there, the colour of death, and Dooher came over and says, ‘What went on last night?’ I says, ‘Look, its a total misunderstanding, we forgot our phones'.

"I said 'I'll go over to Mickey and explain what happened' and he said 'that's alright'."

Mulligan said that he was able to make amends for his behaviour later that week when he played well in an in-house game at Tyrone training, which eventually earned him some gametime in the final against Kerry, but that the same could not be said for Mulgrew who was having a less fortunate time on the pitch.

"It was just one of those games, an in-house game and I scored six or seven points from play," added Mulligan.

"Everything I hit, I felt really good, but for some strange reason, Mulgrew on the other hand was the colour of death. He just put a nail in his own coffin.

"It wasn't right the messing about I did the week before but it got me about 15 minutes in the All-Ireland final which was great."

Mulligan spoke on the programme of his ascendancy to the Tyrone intercounty team, his relationship with six-time All-Star and former teacher Peter Canavan and the passing of his friend and teammate Cormac McAnallen.

The full episode can be watched below:


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