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The True Villains Of Cork Sport: A Hall Of Fame

Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney
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You don't become the greatest in the world without making a few enemies along the way. Here's the list of men and women who have had their pints in Tom Barry's on Barrack St rescinded.


Mullane, arguably the most charismatic Irishman of this century, was the red-faced villain of the Cork sporting public in those wild Celtic Tiger years, which was the last time the Munster championship really mattered. Mullane seemed to have a vendatta against the entire county when he played. He scored an outrageous 3-1 in defeat in the 2003 Munster final and launched the infamous two-finger salute after said point. Next year in Thurles, he was sent off in the second half but Waterford seemed to draw strength from his absence. Cork v Waterford was arguably the great rivalry of Irish sport in the noughties and much of its power rested in the raving enmity between Mullane and all things Cork.

Mick McCarthy


Shite player, shite manager, assassin. Cost Ireland the World Cup but more importantly cost Roy his World Cup.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Speaking of assassins. Shot well-known GAA supporter Michael Collins in the back.


Johnny Sexton


The gall of him.


Paul Galvin

I think Keith Duggan might have wrote that the Cork footballers of the Con Counihan years reminded him of square-jawed policemen - Michael Shannon types - and that tough cop attitude might explain the unwavering hostility that that particular Cork football team had for hippie fashionisto Paul Galvin. Cork thought if they could break Galvin,they could break Kerry. They failed on both fronts. It all got a bit uncomfortable and weird. Fish hooks, red cards, conspiracy videos.

Henry Shefflin and the Stepford Wives

Whatever Cork is, Kilkenny is the opposite of. Cork were a team of mavericks, wild cards and geniuses. Kilkenny hurlers were like terminators rolling off the assembly line at a rural Ireland version of Skynet. Donal Óg called it as he saw it. Stepford Wives. Shefflin was so rattled by the remark that he actually sat down and watched the film, presumably the remake with Nicole Kidman.


“But it was actually when I was sitting down at home with Deirdre in the sitting room one evening and I turned on the show and the ladies were going around like robots and it clicked with me what he was making reference too."


It was a cruel dig. Kilkenny stopped the Cork 3-in-a-row and have owned hurling since. Kilkenny seemed to take extreme satisfaction from blitzing Cork. When I think of their rivalry, I think, randomly, of the 2010 semifinal. Cork's last stand. They threw everything at Kilkenny that first half but were steamrolled. Shefflin did his cruciate. I suppose it might have been Cork who stopped the 5-in-a-row actually.


How many All-Ireland's do Cork win if Donal Óg et al spent the latter half of the noughties training instead of striking? And how far along would Cork hurling be if others were in charge of development of the game in the county? Believe me, there are Cork hurling people trying to build time machines to travel back in time to divert Frank away from sports administration, or at least towards a role in the FAI.

Also deserving a mention: the yes men and spoofers.

Dublin sports administrators


That specific type of Dublin imbecile who's been holding back aspiring Cork sportspeople because of the sound of their accent and their blatantly-obvious talent for generations.


Nevin Yanit

Definitely didn't dope in 2010 or 2013.

Liu Dong, Qu Yunxia, Zhang Linli and Zhang Lirong

Definitely weren't doping at the 1993 World Athletics Championships.


Spillane, the bollocks


You'd have to agree.

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