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EXCLUSIVE: Mayo Mick Speaks About The End Of His Long Ban And Last Sunday's Match

EXCLUSIVE: Mayo Mick Speaks About The End Of His Long Ban And Last Sunday's Match
By Conor Neville

Ladies and gentlemen, he is free at last. After a year of being turned away from club games in Mayo, Mick Barrett is free to attend football matches again, just in time for Saturday's anticipated blockbuster.

And he wants everyone to know he is still on the lookout for a ticket.

Asked would he speak to us about his year in exile and his plans for the coming weekend, Mick has an important request.

If you get me a ticket, I'll do anything for ye...

Naturally, we will be issuing an appeal to help Mick get his hands on a ticket for Saturday. We're of the view that such a cause is almost worthy of a telethon. After a year locked out of games, he is itching to go. Quite simply, he can't wait for the weekend.

Oh yes, I'm looking forward to the game at the weekend. I'm a full year without football so it's very important that I get going this weekend.

Barrett faced a tough sanction for his decision to enter the pitch in Limerick last year and have a word in the ear of Cormac Murphy and his assistants. A year of making do with the television for the big inter-county games and the radio for club matches.

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Ah, it was very hard. I missed all me club games and missed the county final, the whole works. It was hard, it wasn't easy...

He attempted to get into the Mayo county final in 2014, where his local club Castlebar Mitchels were defeated by Ballintubber, but was rebuffed by the stewards on duty.

Stewards turned me away in Castlebar, they wouldn't let into the county final this year, so they did... thanks the GAA, of course...

Barrett insists he feels no bitterness towards the GAA hierarchy who banished him from GAA grounds for a full twelve months and admits he may have changed his ideas around the acceptability of invading the pitch to confront the referee.

Thinking about it, I maybe changed my ideas a bit... I still don't agree with some of the decisions referees make but sure that's neither here nor there, sure...

 

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We broach the matter of Joe McQuillan's refereeing performance on Sunday. Initially, Mick is unwilling to get too far into it. He does offer some feedback on the performance of the officials but, to his credit, he adopts a philosophical approach towards the whole controversy.

Ah, stop it (laughs), refereeing, I don't know... Oh, there were a lot of problems, there were a lot of things he let go. Did you see that point that Mr. Brogan kicked? That was well wide, wasn't it? But I suppose there was hard luck stories on each side, wasn't there?

In common with many other Mayo supporters, he was none too impressed with Dublin's uber-physical approach to the game. Jonny Cooper's 'awful tackle' on Diarmuid O'Connor is a particular bugbear.

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That's not football, is it?....  They weren't great now, were they? There was little things they done there that was very, very serious. The referee let a lot go so he did.

A veteran of Mayo replay defeats, he thinks the county have no stomach for them anymore. He is fully confident of victory this Saturday.

I'd fancy Mayo for the replay. By five or six points. No problem. No problem. We wont get caught again. The third time in a replay (after 1996 and 2014), it's not possible is it?

And, finally, the question many people wanted answering - will his daughter be attending the game with him?

My daughter, yes. Of course, she will. She travels to all the games, my daughter.

Read more: Done Deal Take Action On Dublin Vs Mayo Tickets As Fan's Fears Become Reality

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