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'Quite Delicate Stuff': Aidan O'Shea Speaks Frankly About Abuse Sent Through His Postbox

'Quite Delicate Stuff': Aidan O'Shea Speaks Frankly About Abuse Sent Through His Postbox
Darragh O'Flynn
By Darragh O'Flynn Updated
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Aidan O'Shea has revealed he has received hate letters from people while living at home with his parents and now with his fiancée.

O'Shea recently became the GAA's all-time appearance record holder for an outfield player as he played the full game against Dublin in the group stage of this year's competition.

His 91st Championship appearance was the penalty shootout defeat against Derry, which ended Mayo's hopes of winning the first All-Ireland title since 1951 for another year.

O'Shea admits that whilst he is "not everyone's cup of tea", the criticism of him through the years has been "disrespectful".


The three-time All-Star opened up to Thomas Niblock and Oisin McConville on the GAA Social Podcast about the abuse he has had to deal with throughout his 15-year inter-county career.

"I know what I’m good at; I know I can add value to the group and feel I have done for a long time," O'Shea said.

"When you’re getting stuff through your post box at home, into your family home, that is scandalous.

“Hand written or typed letters about personal stuff about you and what should you do. It’s quite delicate stuff. That stuff is very difficult. I know dad has gone to higher powers to see if we can do something about it. That can be quite difficult, who it is. It's hard to trace this stuff. Different names, same person probably with different names. That's very hard.  It was to the point where my mother has intercepted it at home. When I moved into my house in town, my fiancée would now intercept it.

It hasn’t happened in the last while, but she would intercept it, because you would know from the writing on the thing. There'd be some smart comment on the outside of the letter so they would hide it and take it away from me.

So whoever wants to have a go at me - and there's certain people who want to continuously have a go at me, and that's fine - if people want to have a go at me that’s fine there using their platform for that its up to them that’s there own prerogative,  they have an audience and it lands with people, and that's where they feel they can join in.”

READ MORE: Five GAA Managers Who Only Lasted One Year In The Job

Aidan O'Shea: 'My core focus is always Mayo'

Due to the intense criticism he’s faced online, the 34-year-old explained that he had muted mentions of his name and Mayo GAA on social media to avoid reading what people have said about him, a trick he learned from long-time teammate Cillian O'Connor.

"Cillian was very smart and figured out there was a mute button on social media very quickly that was a game changer so I don't see anything so I just muted my name, muted Mayo, muted loads of stuff that could drag back into me so I won't see it. That's the advice I'd give any young footballer. Yeah, of course, there's days where you go search you're name and get tagged in loads of stuff and it's all good news but there's going to be days when it's not, so I think just mute it. It gives you a clear picture of what you want to see through you're own social channels. That's the best thing you should do."

The Breaffy clubman, who made his debut for Mayo in 2009, has lost six All-Ireland finals but still hopes to be involved with the Westerners next season.


"Let’s see how we go. Mayo don’t play a game until January, but I would like to play, and we'll see when the time comes," he conceded.

"I’m 34, but I still feel good, my body is good, and I don’t get injuries."

O'Shea knows that time is running out for him to get his hands on a long-awaited All-Ireland winner medal but believes that Mayo are equipped to challenge next year and beyond for the Sam Maguire.

"I think it will happen. We have as good a chance as anyone. There are more teams in and around it who will think they can win it, but the Championship is hard, and you need luck with injuries and seeing games out," he explained.

"I don’t see why Mayo in 2025 can’t get to an All-Ireland final. We have some really good young players coming through."

"Do I think I will be around to win one? It’s not something I’m going to lose sleep over."

READ MORE: Five Contenders In The Running To Replace Mickey Harte As Derry Manager

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