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Connelly comes to Vaughan’s defence

Noel Connelly

Connelly defends Vaughan

Former Mayo captain slams RTE remarks

Rob Murphy

FORMER Mayo football captain Noel Connelly has come to the defence of Donal Vaughan after scathing criticism of the Mayo defender by GAA pundit, Joe Brolly, on RTE’s ‘League Sunday’ show last Sunday night.
In the wake of the NFL Division 1 final between Mayo and Cork, Brolly highlighted a second half incident where Michael Shields and Fintan Gould both struck Vaughan in the throat. The Mayo defender went to ground clutching his neck after the third striking action but returned to his feet almost immediately.
Brolly called the Ballinrobe defender’s reaction ‘shameful’ and ‘dishonourable’ and added: ‘it’s an absolute disgrace and he [Vaughan] ought to be humiliated tonight’.
However, speaking to The Mayo News last night, Noel Connelly, said: “Donal Vaughan was on the receiving end of some very harsh treatment during the game from Noel O’Leary, Graham Canty, Fintan Goold and others.
“The incident in the first half where he was brought down on his way to goal, then grabbed and dragged along the ground while down injured didn’t warrant a mention from Joe Brolly for some reason.
“I have to say that having worked with Donal as a [U-21] manager, I can safely say that every manager in the country would love to have him on their team. In terms of integrity, class and honesty of effort he is as good as you’ll find.”
The 23-year-old Mayo half-back was booked in the first half for a high challenge on Cork’s Eoin Cadogan and was also involved in an off-the-ball tangle with Graham Canty.
Referee Maurice Deegan handed out eight yellow cards during the game.
“To single out a player like that and ignore all other incidents was nothing less than you’d expect from a pundit who thinks he can talk over every other pundit and player in the game,” added Noel Connelly.
“It’s funny to hear him talk of disrespect because I remember playing a challenge for Mayo against Derry in 1996 where he wore tracksuit bottoms for the entire match. That was hardly the action of a man who has any sort of understanding about respect for the game or his fellow players.”

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