"I was just 19, so I was mortified" - Darran O'Sullivan on the grim reality of getting subbed before half-time 5 months ago

"I was just 19, so I was mortified" - Darran O'Sullivan on the grim reality of getting subbed before half-time

Cavan's Jack McKenna was taken off after 19 minutes of their Division Three final win over Fermanagh.

Cavan won the game by 0-16 to 1-7 but McKenna's early substitution was a big talking point afterwards. Was it overly harsh by Graham?


A late addition to the team, McKenna's evening ended when he was called ashore for Conor Brady just over half-way through the first half.

McKenna looked exasperated over the decision and approached manager Mickey Graham on his way to the line.

The Laragh club-man threw his arms out-wide as if looking for an explanation from his manager. Seeing as McKenna had been yellow carded, this may have made up part of Graham's explanation but it was still a big call - players have received early cards before and lived to tell the tale.

Others have gone through the same horrors, however, and GAA Hour Show host Darran O'Sullivan can empathise.


It was back in 2006, in his second season on the Kerry panel, when he had to experience the crushing ignominy of not making it to half-time.

It was a championship clash vs Longford and still just a teenager, the Glenbeigh-Glencar club-man was given the curly finger just before the break.

"I was taken off before half-time," said O'Sullivan on The GAA Hour on Monday.

"It's the personal side of it. You'd be embarrassed," he says.


"Kerry vs Longford, the day Donaghy arrived and caught all them balls in 2006. I gave him the first assist so I always say it to him that I made him.

The Kerry team that started their 2006 qualifier clash vs Longford.

"But it was about a minute to go before half-time, and I don't know if I was sick or what was the story during the week, maybe I had a cold or something and now look, I was wrecked, I was tired.


"It was one of my first starts in a championship game so it's going to take a bit (of stepping up.)

"But I was on the wing beside the management, and I'd just had a big assist, the crowd went wild.

"Then Jack whips me off.

"'You're looking a bit tired there' he says.'"

"I'm just there thinking 'It's 30 seconds until half-time.' I was just 19, so I was mortified."


O'Sullivan said that, rather than approaching the manager to ask why, he got out of there as quick as possible.

"I went into my shell. I was embarrassed. I probably shook my head a small bit but it was more of a case of trying to draw as little attention as possible to it.

"Get out of here quick, maybe people mightn't notice! And then of course it comes up on the loudspeaker, substitution - number ten, Darran O'Sullivan!"

"So I was thinking of Jack McKenna, thinking do you know, that is a bit harsh."

McKenna, who started two of Cavan's League games in this campaign, will be hoping to come back into the reckoning with the championship only around the corner.

You can listen to the most recent GAA Hour here.

Related links: