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'I had an eye on Donegal': Pat Gilroy blames himself for Dublin's 2012 loss to Mayo

‘I saw (Donegal) as the real danger that year.’

Gilroy on the sideline for what proved to be his last game in charge of the Dubs.
Gilroy on the sideline for what proved to be his last game in charge of the Dubs.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER DUBLIN MANAGER Pat Gilroy says he blames himself for the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final loss to Mayo which proved to be his final match in charge.

The perennial challengers from Connacht won out 0-19 to 0-16 at Croke Park eight years ago. Along the way they led by six points at half time and, at one stage, by 10.

Speaking with Dublin GAA’s in-house show The Hop Ball (watch from after the 40-minute mark below), Gilroy rued his own preparations, saying he devoted too much attention to Donegal on the other side of the draw.

“Donegal were so strong and they were doing so much damage to teams, I had an eye on them and how I wanted us to play (in the final) and I didn’t spend enough time on Mayo,” Gilroy admitted.

Source: Dublin GAA/YouTube

“I would blame myself very strongly for allowing them to get that 10-point lead,” he added, suggesting the influence of former trainer Mickey Whelan was missed on the panel.

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“That’s one thing that Mickey would have been excellent on. He’d have been probing and asking more of them. I had spent a little bit too much time looking at Donegal. I saw them as the real danger that year.

“I was travelling up watching them in the Ulster Championship. I was watching every video I could get my hands on, to make sure we had enough things in our armoury.

“It’s something I would certainly hold my hand up on.”

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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