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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019

'My mother got a letter in the post one day and she actually started crying'

Joe Sheridan recalls the 2010 Leinster final controversy ahead of next Sunday’s Meath-Louth clash.

Joe Sheridan's infamous goal arrived in injury-time of the 2010 Leinster football final.
Joe Sheridan's infamous goal arrived in injury-time of the 2010 Leinster football final.

FORMER MEATH STAR Joe Sheridan has outlined the extent of the fallout arising from his infamous ‘goal’ in the 2010 Leinster final as he revealed hate mail sent in the post brought his mother to tears.

Ahead of next Sunday’s Leinster championship meeting between Meath and Louth, Sheridan recalled that the situation could have been “handled better” and that it was “hyped up for entertainment purposes.”

“I remember my mother got a letter in the post one day and she actually started crying. It didn’t bother me, that stuff doesn’t bother me. I just get on with things but to think somebody could do that over a football game. It is a bit much.

“People still talk about it but its six years ago now. I just accept it and acknowledge it. Some people try and annoy you about it.

“I think it’s nearly gone by talking about at this stage. Still I suppose people will always probably talk about it that’s just the way life goes.

“The way it was handled was probably the worst thing. It was put back on the Meath players and what we were going to decide to do regarding a replay.

“It shouldn’t have been. It had nothing to do with the players. It should have come out that the players had nothing to do with it.

“That would have been the biggest issue I had with it and the way we were portrayed as players.

“At the end of the day we go out to play we go out to enjoy it. The goodness was taken out of it a wee bit as well.

“It was left to drag out. It should have been nipped in the bud simple as that and then everyone moves on.

“It was a bit much and the crack of Marty Morrissey up outside our meetings looking for white smoke for this and that. It was on the 6 o’clock news, it was blown out of proportion.

Joe Sheridan celebrates with Peadar Byrne Joe Sheridan and Peadar Byrne after the 2010 Leinster final Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

It was hyped up completely just for the entertainment side of things but probably a bit of thought should have went into it.”

The Seneschalstown clubman is thankful “nothing bad” came out of the situation but believes “emotions can bring the worst out in people.”

“I probably took the brunt of the abuse being the person that was involved. I got letters sent to the house and messages sent to me on the phone. It was pretty dire stuff for people to write down.

“To actually think that someone could sit down and write that kind of stuff on a letter and send it across anonymously as well. They didn’t even sign it off which was the annoying thing.

Referee Martin Sludden is escorted from the pitch Referee Martin Sludden after the controversial 2010 Leinster final Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“People are quite emotional about the GAA. A lot of people are involved in it their whole lives and are brought up in it.

“Their whole family are involved and we are exactly the same, but you have got to have a point where you have got to draw a line and say this can’t happen that is stepping over the line as well.

“Emotions I think bring the worst out in people sometimes and that’s probably what happened but lucky enough nothing bad came of it.

“It probably wasn’t the nicest of things for people to be doing at the time but that’s life. There was no harm that came of it.”

Sheridan was axed off the Meath panel at the end of the 2013 season by Mick O’Dowd along with other county stalwarts Brian Farrell, Peadar Byrne and Caoimhin King.

He wore the Royal jersey for the last time in a Round 4 qualifier defeat to Tyrone in Croke Park.

Joe Sheridan takes down Conor Gormley Joe Sheridan in action in 2013 against Conor Gormley Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Did I expect it coming? Probably. Should it have happened? Probably not. To clean out so many players in one foul swoop was pretty severe.

“I didn’t agree with it but look that’s what happened. There is no point giving out about it that’s just the way life goes.

“It was disappointing the way it finished up to be fair.”

Meath will lock horns with Louth on Sunday for the right to advance to the Leinster semi-final on June 26. It is the first championship meeting between the two sides since 2011.

Cian Ward was the star that day netting four goals and helping the Royals to come out on top on a score line of 5-8 v 2-8.

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