GAA

'The Hate Mail Was Pretty Severe. It Was A Letter Received By My Mother'

'The Hate Mail Was Pretty Severe. It Was A Letter Received By My Mother'

Joe Sheridan received hate mail following Meath's controversial victory over Louth in the 2010 Leinster football final.

In injury time of the game, the Meath forward was credited with a decisive goal which should not have stood. It denied Louth their first Leinster title in 53 years.

There were disgraceful scenes following the final whistle which saw referee Martin Sludden attack by supporters.

Sheridan said that the Meath players did discuss the possibility of offering a replay but that it was ultimately the county board's decision.

"It was very unfortunate what happened on the day and I don't think any team is to blame for what happened after," Sheridan told The Sunday Game.

"The GAA should have made more of a stance on it and took it out of everyone's hand. After the game, it was a circus around what was going to happen.

"Watching the game, we could see it wasn't a goal.

Advertisement

"Regarding the hate mail, it was pretty severe. It was a letter received by my mother. There were two letters and a lot of private messages that were sent to my phone.

"It is very hard for my mother who actually received the letter to open it - it was just addressed to 'Joe Sheridan, Seneschalstown'. It was rough stuff in the letter.

"You'd like to think that the people who wrote that stuff would take it back and wouldn't say those things now.

"I don't really take it too seriously because I see in terms of the whole emotion of the game. What happened on the pitch and what happened to other people would never be condoned by anyone. It was a small minority. There was great spirit on the day between Meath and Louth supporters.

"When you see the likes of Sean Boylan, he was assaulted after the game, stuff like that shouldn't happen to a man like Sean Boylan."

Advertisement

Peter Fitzpatrick, who was Louth manager on the day and is now the Louth county board chairman, also blamed the GAA for the situation which followed in the days after the game.

"What happened on the day should never have happened on the day," said Fitzpatrick.

"As time goes on, wounds do heal. That day would have been a fantastic day for Louth football if we had won.

"There's something in me, I just can't release it at the moment.

"To this day, I don't blame Meath, I don't blame Louth, I totally blame the GAA."

Advertisement

Fitzpatrick made an incoherent point regarding the Leinster council appointing a referee from outside the province. He went on to detail the conversation which he had with Martin Sludden.

"These are very experienced umpires," Fitzpatrick said of those working with Sludden on the day.

"His umpire signalled that there was a problem. The referee ran in and didn't even give the umpire and opportunity to explain what had happened. He told the umpire to put the flag up and that the goal was allowed.

"What happened after the game should never have happened. The crowd invaded the pitch and I will condemn that.

"Martin Sludden invited me into the dressing room afterwards and I said 'That's not a goal'. He said 'If I hadn't given the goal, I would have given the penalty'. 'If you had given the penalty,' I said, 'then they could have missed the penalty. What you've done is an injustice'. I asked him why he didn't consult his umpires and he told me to leave the dressing room."

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: Jason Sherlock Can Recall Every Experience Of Racist Abuse

PJ Browne
Article written by

You may also like