The existence of O'Neills shorts entered the conscience of those outside the GAA circle last week when Paul Mescal, one of the stars of Normal People, was pictured wearing those of Maynooth GAA Club on a walk to a shop in London.
"To be honest, it was my grand plan to go to the shops and get a couple of cans of gin and tonic," the former Kildare minor and U21 footballer told Marty Morrissey on RTÉ Radio One.
"It’s hilarious. I’m aware that sometimes on my way to the shops I’m being photographed.
"But, to be honest, there’s no better item to be photographed in than a pair of Maynooth GAA shorts."
The first episode Normal People features a game of Gaelic football. Mescal is proud that the show will bring the sport to a worldwide audience.
"One of the things I’m incredibly passionate about is GAA, and I get to bring that to not only a British and American audience, and a domestic audience here, but now the show’s been bought in Brazil, Switzerland; all the distributors have picked up I think it’s 22 countries.
"So they’ll get to that scene [where Connell’s playing gaelic football] and wonder 'What in God’s name are these mental people playing?’"
He added that him once again playing for Maynooth is a possibility.
"I've said it often. If I can earn a little bit of money, take a year out and stick on the black and white and play for Maynooth, no question [I'd do it]."
tired: Connell’s chain
wired: Paul Mescal’s short shorts pic.twitter.com/Uob2ss7wXX
— Kate Halliwell (@katehalliwell) May 26, 2020
A recent episode of Normal People dealt with suicide. It is a subject with which the 24-year-old is too familiar.
"I encountered it at various points," he said.
"I encountered suicide in school when I was very young, 13 or 14. I encountered it again in my community when I was in second year of college. Unfortunately, myself and my community know it far too well."
To aid Pieta House, which provides services to those at risk of suicide, Mescal as put up for raffle one of his personal chains. The chain which Connell wore in Normal People has become a phenomenon with fans of the show.
Thus far, the raffle has raised nearly €55,000. You can enter it here.