"I don't like to fill my time that way" - O'Hora going his own way in an era of obsessives and covering all bases 2 months ago

"I don't like to fill my time that way" - O'Hora going his own way in an era of obsessives and covering all bases

In an era of obsessives, of nailing the one percenters, where all bases are covered... Padraig O'Hora is more of a laidback Luke.

That's what works best for him.


He loves inter-county football, enjoys every second of it, and is as determined as anyone to achieve success for Mayo but, that being said, his view is that there's no point in spending too much time thinking about it.

That can lead to its own problems.

The Ballina Stephenites footballer is a self-proclaimed doer and that's why, as an example, you'd be more likely to find him playing a game of badminton than watching a game of Gaelic football.

The Glen-Kilmacud saga has rocked the country this last week but aside from seeing the screenshot, well it seems we were just asking the wrong man.


"Of all the people in the GAA, I'm probably one of the only people you shouldn't ask a question like that to really," O'Hora laughs.

All Stars

Point-taken. In fact, as a teenager, if O'Hora was pushed to say what he'd be doing in ten, fifteen years time he says he'd have been more likely to tell you something to do with basketball or boxing than Gaelic football.

The loss of Ballina's Super-League basketball team played a key role in changing his destiny.


"I absolutely loved basketball up until we lost our Super League team in Ballina.

"It kind of broke away and then the basketball kind of slowed down around the place. My first passion definitely in my teen years would have been basketball."

But those formative years weren't wasted.

“I think they transfer over incredibly," the  29-year-old adds.


"Bar kick pass and shooting, you’re not really missing any other skill from both games. I think it’s hugely beneficial.

"If I was asked to pick at 16 or 17, I would have been gone playing basketball no doubt.

"The two games seem to cross over. Kevin McStay’s the same.

"The McStays were always very good at basketball in Ballina too."

McStay was a big-time basketballer back in the day in Ballina, as was Liam MacHale, and now the pair of them are teaming up as part of the Mayo football management team.


As well as playing football for Mayo, Ballina's Liam McHale was the top Irish scorer in the Irish Super League from 1984 to 1989 with an an average of well over 20 points per game. He also nspired his home town Ballina from the second division to two National Cups and a Super League title.

"I would have probably known Liam a little bit more through basketball," says O'Hora.

"He was obviously an extremely successful footballer and basketballer. He’s probably regarded as the best basketballer that ever played for Ballina, even at a national level he was really good.

And O'Hora is enjoying his football as much as ever.

“It’s class, I love it. It (football) was never the be all, end all for me.

"I wasn’t a kid that had it stuck up on the wall growing up. I wouldn’t say I was that person but I’ve always wanted to achieve on a personal level I suppose.

"I’ve also done individual sports like boxing, but there’s nothing quite like collective success," he adds.

"There’s nothing really like bringing a win with a team; that energy that’s created and buzz. When you magnify that to the level of even playing for Ballina, I’m extremely proud of playing for Ballina Stephenites.

"I love playing for my club  and then it’s on a bigger level when you step into inter-county and play for Mayo. This wonderful county with such history, such quality and then you’re fortunate enough to put on the jersey.

"I’m grateful for it. I just really enjoy it, it’s class, more than you expect from it even."

That great honour causes some to go to outlandish lengths in their pursuit of success, but O'Hora feels he's better off going his own way. Put in plain-terms, he's no great fan of studying his opponents or over-doing the video-analysis.

"Everybody does it their own way, don't they? Some people want to know everything and anything.

"That works for them. I don't like to fill my time that way. I don't find it valuable.

"In hindsight when you have a great performance you say I got it right.

"I'm doing the right thing by not over analysing and then you go out another day, get roasted, and you're saying maybe if I did pay a bit more attention or if I did analyse things that mightn't have happened.

"You know yourself, it is subject to success. That is just how I go about my business.

"I think it (video analysis) is part of every inter-county team now, even at club level we do a bit. Nothing mental, but we do a bit. It is hard to argue, I'm not against it, but I wouldn't dwell on it too much.

"Is there benefits to checking out things that happened or a pattern of play?

"I'm sure there is, definitely valuable bits like that.

"If we are doing them as a team, 100 per cent I'll be involved. Just on a personal side I wouldn't go away from the team work and have to do extra home work on players.

"That just wouldn't be my vibe."