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Pat Gilroy Reveals Carefree Attitude Of Some Dublin Footballers

Pat Gilroy Reveals Carefree Attitude Of Some Dublin Footballers
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Before they played Tyrone in the 2010 All-Ireland quarter-final, several Dublin players required extra tuition on the opposition. This was a Tyrone side featuring players who had won three All-Ireland titles in the previous seven years.

"You had so many different guys. Rory O'Carroll and Michael Darragh Macauley, Niall Corkery was there for two years, Ger Brennan... These guys, they didn't know the opposition - truly," Pat Gilroy, who was Dublin manager between 2009 and 2012, told Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning's Free State podcast.

"We were playing Tyrone in the quarter-final of the All-Ireland, and we said to Michael Darragh, 'You're picking up Sean Cavanagh'. [He said], 'Who's he?' He was not joking. Our stats guy had to get pictures for a few of them so they knew their faces. I'm not joking. Rory O'Carroll was like, 'Who's he?'

"We got pictures for Michael Darragh, Niall Corkery, Rory O'Carroll to tell them who they were marking. They didn't believe in any of that stuff. They didn't read the papers. They had lives outside of football, big time."

pat gilroy dublin gaa michael darragh macauley

31 July 2010; Dublin's Rory O'Carroll attempts to block the shot of Tyrone's Seán Cavanagh. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Tyrone v Dublin, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Regarding the famously easygoing Macauley, Gilroy continued: "I can't remember which game it was but we were playing a big championship game - either a semi-final or final.


"He comes to me the day before, and says 'I'm playing a basketball match tomorrow'. I says, 'We're playing on Sunday and that's on Saturday'.

"He goes, 'Yeah, but I promised the lads'. I said 'Is it a team?' He says, 'No. No. It's kind of a little road league we have going. I just have to put you clear: I'm not really that big into the GAA'. I'm going, 'Fair enough. Just play it but don't tell anyone'.

"He played away and played like a demon on the weekend. He was a totally different guy, and I'd be extremely fond of him."


pat gilroy dublin gaa michael darragh macauley

18 September 2011; Michael Darragh Macauley, Dublin, in action against Killian Young, Kerry. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Dublin, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Before Dublin played Kerry in the 2011 All-Ireland final, a game which resulted in the capital a first Sam Maguire title in 16 years, Macauley realised that he'd forgotten his boots.


Michael Darragh Macauley forgot boots for Dublin vs Kerry 2011


"We were in the dressing room," said Gilroy.

"Everyone puts their boots on. I'm seeing him in his socks, and I'm going, 'Fuck... Come on over here. What's the story with you?' He says, 'No boots'. I'm roughly the same size as him. We all had the same boots, same runners - you get the things from Adidas or whoever.

"I said, 'I have no runners to wear out. You give me your runners, and I'll give you my boots'. He wore them, and it didn't bother him. I'm a 13, a size bigger than him. Not a bother on him. It had no effect on him. Another fella, that would drive them mad. That's all peripheral stuff to him."


Brolly sought corroboration from Gilroy regarding a story he'd been told by Eoghan O'Gara about Macauley. O'Gara said Macauley got so nervous before games during the early days of his Dublin career that he'd struggle to eat. Prior to one game, the Ballyboden St Enda's man nearly choked on a meatball.

"That's true. He had to go to hospital," said Gilroy.

"It was a league game in Croke Park. At that stage, we hadn't many wins and you were thinking, 'This fella is off the charts'.

"He's a great guy, and he led. When we threw 48 training sessions [in a month] at them, he did every one of them. He never broke down. He just pushed on through any pain barrier. He's an exceptional individual.

"He wasn't on his own. There's a lot of them there that even back then, before they'd won anything, there were fellas running soup kitchens with Brother Kevin, they were doing things out with sick kids in Malahide - no publicity, they were doing it for the real."

See Also: 'There Is A Type Of Elitist Snobbery With Some Hurling People'

colm o'rourke donal og cusack tailteann cup hurling



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