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Aidan O’Shea: ‘When you’re getting stuff into your family home, that’s just scandalous’



Aidan O’Shea: ‘When you’re getting stuff into your family home, that’s just scandalous’

Speaking on the BBC’s GAA Social podcast, the Breaffy man also revealed that he’s received hate mail over the years, particularly in the wake of the row that saw Holmes and Connelly leave the post in acrimonious circumstances.

“I didn’t read them all, I just didn’t. Maybe I’ll read them in the future,” he told Thomas Niblock and Oisin McConville.

“I’m sure my mother has them cut out and on the bad list! There was a week long of stuff but it’s not really what those people were saying, it’s more all of a sudden what it’s ok for everyone else to say.

“So basically when you are getting stuff in through your post box at home, into your family home, that is just scandalous in my opinion.

“Hand-written letters, typed letters, personal stuff about you, what you should do. It’s quite delicate stuff, that stuff is very difficult. And I know Dad has gone to higher powers to see if we could do something about it.

“It’s very hard to trace this stuff and that can be quite difficult. Nameless stuff, or same person probably and different names. So that’s very hard to the point where my mother would have intercepted it at home and when I moved into my house in town, my fiancé would now intercept it.

“It hasn’t happened in the last while but she would intercept it because you’d know from the writing, there’d be some smart comment on the outside of the letter. They’d hide it and take it away from me.”

In a wide-ranging interview, O’Shea says he has accepted that he is ‘not everyone’s cup of tea’ and that it is difficult to change perceptions.

“It’s kind of one of those things I’ve gotten quite used to,” O’Shea says. “There’s a couple of things to that and I don’t have a general reason why that is. In one way I wouldn’t want to be universally liked. If I was there would be something wrong.

“You wouldn’t be authentic if you were loved by everybody. That’s the first thing and the second thing is I’ve obviously been playing for Mayo for a while and we haven’t got over the line and with that comes criticism.

“And being a player who has been to the forefront of those times, when you don’t win that criticism is going to come your way and you have to kind of accept that as well. That’s par for the course.

“Yeah, we’ve been close and all that good stuff but as a player who has been knocking around, and there are few of us in that camp, you have to face up to that criticism.

“There’s probably other bits and bobs. I think we probably won’t go into the detail of it but I think 2015 was a difficult year in terms of the stuff that happened and the fallout out of that probably blackened my name a little bit.

“It created a narrative around who I am as a person, which was false, and it can be difficult to answer that in a space where you are just sitting at home and there are mediums for other people to utilise.

O’Shea says now that he is better equipped for dealing with outside criticism.

“Look, again there was criticism around it but I felt some of it was – well I know some of it was – directed towards me and falsely, and that would be the difficult part of it.

“That probably changed the narrative for people and then outside of that I’m probably a very private person. As much as people might think I’m quite introverted and when I’m not as readily available to people as people would like then that narrative can stick.

“I have kind of grown to carry it and it hasn’t deterred me in terms of what I want to do and playing football for my club or Mayo. It’s probably impacted relationships and who I am as a person but I think I’m in a better place now the last few years, having dealt with it.”

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