Naturally, exaggerated rumours of this scuffle have been swirling around Cork for many years. Cynics presumed it was an apocryphal tale, but in his new autobiography, 'The White Heat', Tomas O'Sé confirms the meat of it.
The events were serialised in the Irish Examiner today.
The evening after Kerry beat Cork in the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final replay, Tomas O'Se, Kieran Donaghy, Tom O'Sullivan and David Moran walked into Reardons bar in Cork city.
The Cork lads had a companion in the shape of Munster's new kiwi import, Doug Howlett.
We beat Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final and the following night myself, Tom O’Sullivan, David Moran and Kieran Donaghy went back to Cork and had a few pints.
When we walked into Reardons, the whole Cork panel were inside there after a day of it and Doug Howlett, the All Black signed by Munster, was with them.
We went to a corner by ourselves, because we didn’t want to be raining on anyone’s parade.
We came across Mick Galwey in there, had a bit of craic, a couple of pints. Grand.
Afterwards they moved onto the Courthouse Bar. The Cork lads had already decided to do likewise. It was there the trouble started. O'Sé appears to hold whiskey largely responsible for it all.
When we came out onto Washington Street, yours truly heard some noise coming from the Courthouse Bar over the road. I knew the barman so I suggested we go there.
But the barman, Mike, said ‘Look, the Cork lads are in there’.
I said ‘sure there’s no problem’.
In we went. I knew straight away it was a mistake, though. I saw the bottle of whiskey up on the counter. Trouble.
Between the jigs and the reels, myself and Derek Kavanagh got into some pulling and dragging. I had a lovely jumper and that was the major casualty from the evening.
It was all handbags really. The funniest thing was that Doug Howlett jumped off the chair and was ready to get stuck into the ruck only for Mick Galwey to tell him to sit the fuck down or he’d have the head taken clear off his shoulders.
The following day, Derek Kavanagh rang him and any hostility was nipped in the bud. According to O'Sé, 'the stories that went around Cork after were far better than the reality.'