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"They Chose To Take The Bait" - Mayo PRO Slams "Well Orchestrated Campaign" Against Lee Keegan

"They Chose To Take The Bait" - Mayo PRO Slams "Well Orchestrated Campaign" Against Lee Keegan
By Conor Neville Updated

It's annual report season time. This means that the papers are once more filled with reports of John Costello rounding on Dublin's critics.

In recent years, John's annual presentation to the Dublin county convention has come to resemble Fr. Ted Crilly's victory speech on receiving the Golden Cleric award.

"And now, onto liars..."

It seems that Mayo are getting in on the action this year. The rest of the country will soon follow suit.

Mayo PRO Paul Cunnane tonight alleged that there was a deliberate media campaign mounted to smear Lee Keegan between the drawn All-Ireland final and the replay.

He expressed disappointment that "many outlets chose to take the bait." What's more, this campaign worked as Keegan was black carded in the replay. "Wrongly" in Cunnane's view, needless to say.

There was a well-orchestrated media campaign to blacken Lee Keegan's name and I would be disappointed that many outlets chose to take the bait.

Lee Keegan has just won his fourth All Star as well as being named GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year. This recognition was due to his excellent displays throughout the National League and championship. He is one of the finest footballers the county has ever produced. To see him depicted in this way before the biggest game of his career was very unjust.

Ultimately, this campaign worked as Lee was black carded wrongly before half-time in the replay.

This had been alleged at the time.

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Mayo supporters seemed to be claiming that, in the wake of the drawn All-Ireland, a nefarious plot had been hatched by the Dublin PR machine to paint Keegan as a puller and dragger in the hope of influencing Maurice Deegan through the national press.

In the fortnight between the two games, Alan Brogan, Ger Brennan and Paul Clarke all accused Keegan of cynical jersey pulling off the ball. On the Sunday Game, Ciaran Whelan challenged referees to look for "the instigator" in off-the-ball incidents.

Mayo supporters, as we are aware, responded with the #ThingsLeeDid hashtag. David Brady had a pop back at Keegan's critics on Off the Ball, as did John Casey on the Hard Shoulder, the GAA podcast on this website.

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We'll leave aside the rights and wrongs of Lee Keegan's brilliantly effective defending. Is Cunnane on the ball with his "well orchestrated media campaign" comments?

Were Brogan, Clarke and the rest directed by some Machiavel working out of Parnell Park? Or did they just all come to the same conclusion on the Keegan/Connolly tussle? (While wearing their blue and navy tinged spectacles, of course.) We think probably the latter.

Read more: Tarzan, Hitler And Snubbing The Brits: In Praise Of The Great Dr. Pat O'Callaghan

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