Watch: The Full Owen Mulligan Laochra Gael Was Great Entertainment

Watch: The Full Owen Mulligan Laochra Gael Was Great Entertainment

TG4's Laochra Gael gave us an entertaining insight to Owen Mulligan's life both on and off the pitch.

We all know him as one the best footballers to have pulled on a Tyrone jersey - he has three All-Ireland medals. The programme shows the charisma and devilment that also makes him one of the greats.

Before the 2003 All-Ireland final, manager Mickey Harte made sure that each of player knew gach focal in 'Amhrán na bhFiann.' For Mulligan, the Irish language wasn't his best skill.

I couldn't get onto the whole Irish thing, so Mickey Coleman took me for private lessons. A couple nights up in my room, and he says to me one time, 'It would be easier to teach a mouse how to play a guitar, than for you to sing the national anthem.'

But in the end I got it, thank God, and I sang it loud and proud on the All-Ireland final day.

Driving also didn't prove to be Owen's strongest skill, he failed his test three times within one week, and got it on the fourth go. After failing on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday, he finally got the licence on Saturday, as the replay of the Ulster final loomed on the horizon in 2003. Tyrone went on to become Ulster champions (and later All-Ireland champions) that year, after beating Down.

The programme shows the start of Mulligan's career as a young footballer, and the relationship he has with team-mate Peter Canavan. Canavan was his teacher in Holy Trinity College, Cookstown where Mulligan was a pupil. He describes watching Canavan lift Sam Maguire in 2003 as 'one of the best feelings in his life.'

According to Canavan, 'Mulligan could do no wrong' in the 2005 quarter-final replay against Dublin. At one stage a dog ran onto the field, and Mulligan aimlessly lifted it and handed it to the referee.


I don't know where the dog came out of, I put the hand out and it came over to me. As the story goes, it wasn't the only dog I picked up that night in Dublin.

Due to a drinking session a week before the 2008 All-Ireland Final with teammate Raymond Mulgrew, he still feels guilt, and believes that he doesn't deserve final his All-Ireland medal. The pair pretended that they had been at a Mary Black concert.

It just got really really out of hand, the phones were in the jeep at the time. There were search parties out, police were called, Brian Dooher was phoned, Mickey Harte was phoned. It was crazy like, we got up the next day and 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'.

The messing about I did the week before wasn’t right, but it got be fifteen minutes in the All-Ireland final which was grateful for.

The programme also shows his commitment to his club Cookstown, the death of friend and teammate Cormac McAnallen, and the breakdown of communication between himself and Mickey Harte.

The full programme is below.

Video: TG4

See Also: 'It Would Never Have Happened If It Was Someone From Dublin Or Kerry'

Ellen McConville

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