After yet another heartbreaking All-Ireland final defeat this year, you could forgive Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor for wishing a hole would just open in the ground and swallow them up after that result.
By the sounds of things, that is exactly the way the pair reacted to their loss to Dublin.
Aidan O’Shea revealed in an interview with Off The Ball today that he and O’Connor initially intended to have the homecoming back in Mayo on the Monday evening called off because they felt as though they couldn’t face up to it, such was the deflation in the camp. Having given everything and falling short at the final hurdle yet again, the September loss in Croke Park was just such a bitter pill to swallow at the time.
There was a feeling amongst the panel that the people of Mayo had been let down.
However, that was just initially. O’Shea, speaking to Joe Molloy, expressed that he is in fact sadly growing accustomed to that losing feeling on the biggest stage and the older and more mature he becomes, the easier he finds it to deal with.
When the homecoming to the loyal Mayo supporters who had followed the team on their pursuit of the elusive Sam Maguire Cup throughout 2017 couldn’t be pulled on such short notice, the players proved to be relieved.
Thousands turned out in Castlebar today to welcome home beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo @patmcgrath pic.twitter.com/vgjVSZrEeM
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) September 18, 2017
The moment he hit the stage at McHale Park in Castlebar, O’Shea was filled with pride for his county despite the crushing one-point loss to the Dubs just 24 hours previous.
Listen to him discuss the whole situation in the clip below:
#OTB Aidan O'Shea on homecoming
"Me and Cillian were kind of like, 'We can't go through this again!'"Aidan O'Shea explains why he was glad that the Mayo GAA homecoming went ahead in the end after the All Ireland final defeat: http://bit.ly/2zNwQPD
Posted by Off The Ball on Tuesday, November 28, 2017
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