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09th Aug 2017

John Mullane’s attitude to appeals should be a lesson to every GAA player

So noble

Conan Doherty

We all know the process by now: you step out of line, you get a fair suspension, you appeal it.

There’s no real reason for it but for the fact that you know you’ll probably get off, whether it’s just or not.

Appeals are rife in this association because winning is the only thing that most people care about and there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned loophole and by God there are loads of them.

But John Mullane has too much respect for this game to be getting involved in any of that shit.

Back in 2004, Waterford won a classic Munster final when they overcame Cork with one point to spare. They did it with 14 men too, John Mullane seeing red early in the second half.

The interview the Déise legend gave RTÉ after the game is now remembered in GAA folklore.

It summed up the passion he had for his county and the game. It summed up the raw character of the man who got so pumped – too pumped – for the occasion and, better yet, it summed up the maturity of him to not come out and start bullshitting about what had happened.

On a cracking episode of SportsJOE Live sponsored by Lottoland, Mullane sat with former Waterford team mate Stephen Hunt talking up the Irish international’s hurling talent but he also spoke with pure honesty about that incident in 2004.

Mullane saw red which meant he’d miss the semi-final but an appeal was never an option – even after a local businessman offered to put up 20 grand to help expense it.

“I decided not to go through with it,” he said.

“What I did to Brian Murphy, I should’ve got jail.

“There was a bit of a niggle in the first half and I suppose I had a bit of a relationship with the Cork fans.

“The niggle continued in the second half and I gave him the butt of the hurley into the face guard.

“You do the crime, you do the time. I’m a GAA man and I just felt at the time for what I was after doing, I wouldn’t have felt right with myself taking the field against Kilkenny.”

If only more people in the GAA had that attitude. Watch below.

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