Writing in his Irish News column today, Paddy Heaney concluded:
Moral victories. Enjoyable defeats. Sing when you’re losing. It’s the GAA – but not as I know it.
The singing he was referring to was that of the Fermanagh footballers on their bus trip home from Croke Park on Sunday following their eight point defeat to Dublin. He was simply unable to comprehend the Ulster county's elation in the face of defeat.
Sean Quigley, Fermanagh's affable full-forward (the one who 'assisted' Stephen Cluxton's own goal) was on Newstalk's Off the Ball this evening and had a response to Heaney's criticism.
Paddy Heaney, he's probably a good reporter and all but he writes for the Irish News and everyday he's talking about second-tier competitions. It's getting a wee bit old now.
We're out of the Championship. We enjoyed our bus journey home. We enjoyed our day out at Croke Park.
Obviously we're severely disappointed that we didn't win the game but we were going home after a long year probably after a better year than many expected and a better year than we expected ourselves.
If we can't enjoy a bit of craic on the way home, I don't know what it's come to.
Heaney was not the only one who could not understand Fermanagh's enjoyment of Sunday. Jim McGuinness also expressed disbelief and questioned the county's ambition in his Irish Times column.
You can listen to the interview with Sean Quigley below.
Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE