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Cork City's 'F*** the Lilywhites' chant is 'out of the gutter' - Stephen Kenny

The Dundalk boss has had a pop at their main rivals just days out from the FAI Cup final.

Stephen Kenny.
Stephen Kenny.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

DUNDALK MANAGER STEPHEN Kenny believes Cork City have shown a lack of class ahead of this weekend’s FAI Cup final.

The League of Ireland’s top two clubs meet for the third year in-a-row at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the Leesiders aiming to wrap up a league and cup double.

Having stopped the Lilywhites from claiming a fourth consecutive title this season, the City players held celebrations at Cork’s Soho Bar last weekend — where goalkeeper Mark McNulty was recorded chanting “Fuck the Lilywhites” in a video clip posted online by the venue. It has been removed from their Facebook page this morning, however.

A year ago, the same player gave an expletive-laden speech after their cup final victory, while a phone call was allegedly made from the Cork team bus to Dundalk captain Stephen O’Donnell shortly after Sean Maguire’s extra-time winner at Lansdowne Road.

Speaking at Oriel Park yesterday, Kenny says such behaviour is not only disrespectful to his team, but also to the great players who have represented the club in years gone by.

“Stephen is the most successful captain in the modern times,” the Dundalk boss said. “He carries himself with great dignity. He’s won five league titles himself and been in two Europa Leagues. And [they are] ringing down the phone when we’re coming out of the stadium going up to Dundalk, taunting him and all that kind of stuff.

So we had that and it isn’t a one-off. You’ve seen ‘Fuck the Lilywhites’, or whatever it is. What do you associate with the Lilywhites as a football fan? You associate people like Tommy McConville, you associate people like Barry Kehoe — brilliant players.

“You think of people like Martin Lawlor playing 18 years here, people like that. What he is doing there is insulting all of those players, all of those players of the past.

“I think you can have rivalry, teams don’t have to like each other. That’s normal, there is nothing abnormal about that. But I think you have to have a sporting respect. That sort of thing is out of the gutter really.”

Kenny added: “That’s the last thing on our own minds when we’ve won. We’ve won the league here three times. We’ve won at the Aviva and we’ve been celebrating with each other — the joy of celebrating with your families. It’s such a joyous occasion to do that.

So then to be ringing someone to taunt them within a hour and screaming down the phone, why would you even bother doing that? I think you would think of celebrating with your family and your team-mates and enjoying that experience.

“It’s just a great feeling to win the trophy. I consider it a great privilege to manage in a final, and you know to manage a team in the FAI Cup final is more special.

“I’ve managed in Tolka Park a few times and the RDS, I think it’s more special going to the Aviva Stadium.”

- Originally published at 06.00

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Ben Blake

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