Keegan responds to McMahon's 'running scared' comments

May 30, 2024

Dublin's Philly McMahon and Cillian O'Connor of Mayo ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Lee Keegan has laughed off Philly McMahon's claim that Mayo are 'running scared' after they requested that their neutral All-Ireland SFC group game against Dublin not be played in Croke Park.

McMahon made the accusation in his Irish Independent column last weekend, but in his column for RTÉ, Keegan hit back by saying: "I can no longer confirm whether Mayo are running scared or not. But certainly, there's not much in the Croke Park atmosphere that would terrify you these days.

"From my vantage point on the couch, Dublin's opening group game against Roscommon at GAA HQ did not seem like the grandest of occasions. 11,167 paying patrons were attracted into Europe's fourth largest stadium to watch the All-Ireland champions.

"The time has surely come to call a halt to these dismal spectacles. At this stage, I think Croke Park should be reserved for All-Ireland semi-finals and finals and no more."

The former Footballer of the Year continued: "The GAA probably made a mistake in the first place in allowing Dublin to nominate Croke Park - the national stadium, which hosts our biggest games - as their home ground. Parnell Park, Dublin's official ground which they hardly ever play in, would have been more than sufficient for Saturday's game. Indeed, in a more intimate venue, it might have been possible to get an atmosphere going.

"Philly probably wouldn't agree. I know he always fancied his own ability to rile Mayo players. He's written in the past about the brief ruckus he caused on the way down the tunnel at half-time in the 2020 All-Ireland final.

"He was particularly chuffed with that one and, in fairness, it was probably his most telling intervention that day (although, I should note, his teammates came good to seal another All-Ireland final victory against us)."

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