“I wasn’t aware until that moment that those restrictions were in place.”
Aidan O’Shea believes that both the Sam Maguire and the Liam McCarthy Cup should be allowed to go home with the respective winning counties after the final.
Waterford are going for a first Liam McCarthy since 1959. However, Mayo are trying to end an even longer drought, having not won Sam Maguire since 1951.
However, what will be different this year is that neither winning team will be able to bring the cup home straight after the game. Homecomings have also been postponed until restrictions are lifted.
Aidan O’Shea, speaking at a virtual All-Ireland SFC final press conference, finds the cup restrictions “a little bit over the top.” O’Shea feels there should be a little leeway given to the winning counties. The Mayo midfielder has actually experienced this situation already last month, when lifting the county’s first Connacht title since 2015.
“Yeah, obviously had a bit of experience with it with the Connacht title. The fact that we have to drive to the game by ourselves, I was expecting it to be coming back with me afterwards. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
“I wasn’t aware until that moment that those restrictions were in place. But, yeah, maybe it’s a little bit over the top.
“There’s no harm in whatever team wins this weekend or next weekend. I think the moment when you walk back into the dressing room with a cup is something special. I think the GAA can afford both teams, this weekend and next weekend, to allow that.
“But, at the same time, I understand the circumstances Covid-19 has placed upon. So if there’s a justification around why that is the case, fair enough, it’s important to abide by it and follow the restrictions.”
The President of the GAA, John Horan, went on The Late Late Show last Friday to make the announcement. The Na Fianna man said that the cups will not be leaving Croke Park and all homecomings would be postponed.
“The country is still in a pandemic and we have to be careful.”The cups will not be leaving Croke Park. They’ll be retained in Croke Park. It’s our concern that the cups will be a focus of crowds gathering and extra social activity going on around the cups.”
It’s been a very different All-Ireland in both codes this year with two great December finals to look forward to over the next two weekends. Two underdogs are looking to end long sporting famines while up against the best team in the country in their respective codes.
Whatever happens, the celebrations this year will be very different.