Roy Keane vs the media. It's an never ending battle of which it seems unlikely there's ever going to be a winner. The media, of which we are not distancing ourselves by any stretch of the imagination, sells stories off the back of Roy Keane who, in turn, sells books off the back of the media coverage. Given his punditry stint, you could even claim that Keane has contributed to the big bad media machine himself.
However, where's the line in the sand when a Keane story appears? There's little doubt that a large proportion of the stories are exaggerated. Take yesterday's 'road-rage' incident for example. Chances are there'll be very little to come from it. Keane probably reacted to something that happened and lost his cool momentarily.
He then came home to find Paddy Mulchrone, a journalist with the Mirror, waiting to ask him a few questions about a police investigation. The Mirror have today ran with a story headlined 'Roy Keane tells Mirror reporter 'get the f*** away from me' hours after alleged road rage bust-up.'
As a result of that incident, the journalist in question was invited to talk on the Marian Finucane show on RTÉ Radio 1 today. What followed was a rather interesting discussion on press rights and responsibilities.
Having waited at his house for a while, Mulchrone's (abridged version of events) is as follows.
He asked what I wanted and I said it was about an incident in Altrincham this morning and he looked at me wide-eyed in disbelief.
He said ‘what do you want from me, I’ll tell you what you want from me, you just want a quote. You can believe what you want now get the fuck away from me’ and he repeated it with his eyes dead at me ‘get the fuck away from me’.
His electronic window glided up, his gates swept open and he swept onto the property. I tried very hard to say to him ‘well is in not true? Is it lies, did it not happen’? and he kept saying ‘believe what you want
The incident with the taxi driver allegedly began after Keane was asked to smile, something which Mulchrone said he didn't know at the time but which he said he wished he had as he would have used it to his advantage.
I knew that there had been an incident. I learned this morning that this taxi driver had simply said ‘smile’. I wish to God I had known that yesterday, I would have loved, as he threw this foul-mouthed stream of invective at me, I’d have loved to just say to him ‘smile Roy, just smile’ and if that had touched a nerve we might have had some recognition that something might have happened.
You can listen to the entire exchange between Finucane and Mulchrone here: