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'I was out in Australia and boys were asking me was it true': O'Shea baffled by Keegan illness rumour

Lee Keegan had to come out and squash claims he’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

WHILE RUMOURS WERE flying around Mayo that Lee Keegan had picked up a serious illness, Aidan O’Shea was thousands of miles away in Australia and even he couldn’t avoid them.

O’Shea captained the Irish International Rules side Down Under last month, while there was widespread speculation in Mayo GAA circles that Keegan had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a condition that affects the central nervous system.

Last week Keegan, the 2016 Footballer of the Year, felt compelled to scotch the false rumours as his family were ‘upset’ by the claims.

“It’s a strange one,” says O’Shea. “It wasn’t something I seen on social media or anything like that. It was more a word of mouth. You’d love to know where these things start, it’s obviously not nice.

“Leeroy himself, just knowing the guy, I’d say it’s water off a duck’s back but for his family and people in Westport and Mayo in general, it’s not a nice rumour to have about something that’s that serious.

“I was out in Australia and boys were asking me was it true. I was like, ‘No it’s not true.’ It’s obviously not nice but it’s put to bed now and thankfully it’s done.

“People in Mayo are passionate about the game and we’re a football mad, crazy county. People love to talk about it and that’s probably why it happens.”

O’Shea himself was the subject of an absurd controversy back in May when Bernard Flynn kicked off ‘Selfiegate’ after a Meath-Mayo challenge game.

The Mayo star says the storm which followed compelled him to switch off social media for a spell.

“This year I switched it off during some of the stupid stuff that happened earlier in the year. I just turned it off because it was a different stupid story coming out everyday.

“It was probably my first year doing that because usually things aren’t that crazy. It’s something I didn’t engage in and maybe it did me a bit of good. But it’s not a big deal really.

“It was just stupid. I don’t know why it got so much traction but it did. It became kind of like wildfire then at that time and I was like, ‘There’s no need to engage in this.’”

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Kevin O'Brien

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