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Oisín McConville recalls playing in an Ulster final in fear for his life

Oisín McConville

Oisín McConville has revealed that he feared there was “a sniper in the Hogan stand” waiting to shoot him during the 2004 Ulster Football Championship final.

Former Armagh footballer McConville was in debt to someone he “should never have borrowed money from” during the championship in 2004 and received a threatening text message shortly before the Ulster final against Donegal.

McConville was speaking on Virgin Media‘s Sport Stories and revealed that in his panicked state he was afraid that he would be killed during the Ulster final, which was played at Croke Park in Dublin that year.

Oisín McConville on the 2004 Ulster football final.

“The reason why I continuously remember that game is because we had travelled from Citywest, and on the way from Citywest I got a message from somebody I borrowed money from, someone I should never have borrowed money from,” McConville said.

“The message on it said that I’d be got today. The crazy thoughts that I had – I thought that there was going to be a sniper in the Hogan stand or the Cusack stand.

“Now when I say that people always laugh at me but they were the exact thoughts that I walked out onto the field with.

“I remember telling my story and I remember recalling this and I remember driving home, I think possibly from Portlaoise. I arrived home at maybe 11 o’clock or half 11 at night.

“I searched everywhere for the video of that game, not the video it’s not that far back, the DVD of that game. I got the DVD and honestly, I don’t recognise the person that’s on that pitch.

“I don’t know how that person was functioning on that pitch. That was the only that probably happened.”

Armagh hammered Donegal at Croke Park.

Despite McConville fearing for his life walking out onto the pitch at Croke Park, he put in an excellent performance in Armagh’s dominant 3-15 – 0-11 win against Donegal, scoring a goal and three points.

Armagh ultimately suffered a shock loss to Fermanagh in that year’s All-Ireland quarter-final, to end their hopes of lifting the Sam Maguire twice in three years.

While McConville did not specify why he owed money to the person in question, the former Armagh star has spoken openly about his gambling problems in the past.

The Crossmaglen man revealed in an interview earlier this year with RSVP that he hasn’t gambled in 16 years, but admitted that it is not something he has been able to be “cured” from.

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