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Luke Fitzgerald Explains Bad Experience Which Led To Dislike Of Paul Kimmage

Luke Fitzgerald Explains Bad Experience Which Led To Dislike Of Paul Kimmage

In late September, Paul Kimmage made an appearance on Luke Fitzgerald's 'Left Wing' podcast. It was clear throughout that neither had a particular liking for each other.

Speaking on Jarlath Regan's 'An Irishman Abroad' podcast, Fitzgerald explained that his dislike of Kimmage goes back much further than the circumstances which led to the Sunday Independent journalist being a guest on his show.

Fitzgerald said that he "had a bad experience" with Kimmage back in 2012 when he agreed to appear on the Setanta Sports show iTalkSport.

"I did him a favour a long time ago. They lost a guest - I'm going to say it was Isa Nacewa, I think. Himself and David Walsh, who is a family friend, were doing a show on Setanta Sports a long time ago," said Fitzgerald.

I was in the middle of messy contract negotiations and I was doing no media at the time, we'd kind of agreed it.

Long story short, Isa Nacewa pulls out, I end up going on the show - as long as there's no contract talk - to bail them out of a tight corner. The relationship with Dave is more with my Dad and I said, 'As long as they know I don't want to talk about my contract, I'm happy to give them a dig out'.

Anyway, we get through two portions of the show and Paul starts off the last segment of the show straight off the bat with a question about my contract. I just thought, 'You asshole'. I was like, 'I just did you guys a favour. You had no guests. You literally rang the night before'. I wasn't even doing media for a long time before.

Fitzgerald felt it was not an 'innocent mistake' by Kimmage. Later in the podcast, Fitzgerald said that he felt Kimmage had "shafted" him.

"No. He might claim that but I was really annoyed about it.

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"Having dug them out of a hole at late notice and I was doing it as a friend to David Walsh. I was just really annoyed about it.

"I don't think anyone noticed but I just had a second pause where I just thought, 'I should walk off this thing'."

Kimmage's appearance on the Left Wing had its origins in a Twitter argument between the two.

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Kimmage had called the Dublin footballer's 'cheats' in the wake of last year's All-Ireland football final win against Mayo. Having a good friend on the Dublin team, Fitzgerald had an issue with Kimmage's comment.

"I'm watching this guy from afar for a long time and I don't like him, he shafted me a long time ago. I have to say something through the medium on Twitter."

I feel like he's a really aggressive journalist, kind of an angry guy. He was talking about the Dublin footballers. This pal of mine who plays on the team, he is working a really serious job and training like a professional athlete and giving up a huge amount.

The headline was calling them cheaters which was what started all this stuff. I just thought, 'What a hypocrite'. Calling my pal a cheater because they ended the game, the referee should have called a few fouls at the end of the game but he didn't. Again, I was thinking, 'That's misdirected'.

I was just thinking, 'You are so out of order here and you are a cheater yourself'. That's what stoked the anger in me. It was six o'clock in the morning - I'm not going to lie - I was on the jacks when I wrote out the tweet. After I wrote it, I was thinking 'Oh, that's really going to stoke a fire here'.

Initially, Fitzgerald did not want to have Kimmage as a guest on his show. He was fine with meeting him in person for a discussion but didn't want to give him the pulpit of his podcast. After being convinced that it would be good for the show and also holding a belief that someone needed to stand up to Kimmage, he agreed.

You can listen to Luke Fitzgerald speaking on An Irishman Abroad below.

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PJ Browne
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