Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Tommy Dickson/INPHO Conor Meyler (Tyrone) and James McCarthy clash in Omagh.
# Tunnel of Love
'Dublin's discipline is being questioned - a pattern is emerging with them'
Tyrone legend Owen Mulligan raises questions about Dublin after yet another Battle of Omagh.

OWEN MULLIGAN, THE former Tyrone player, has criticised Dublin’s discipline in the aftermath of the Battle of Omagh.

The three-times All-Ireland winner played in the original battle between Dublin and Tyrone prior to witnessing Saturday’s sequel.

Mulligan, Paddy Power’s GAA ambassador, said: “Dublin won’t forget the night they came to rainy, windy Omagh and were challenged in more ways than one. Tyrone will be waiting for them in the long grass. 

“All I was hearing last week was that the rivalry is gone now from the Tyrone and Dublin games from years ago. How wrong the experts were!

“Personally, I couldn’t understand how the game went ahead. The pitch was soaked right up the middle and there was no bounce on the ball what soever, not to mention the driving rain and gale force winds.

“I felt Tyrone were more up for this as they were out warming up a good 40 minutes before Dublin.

“This game will be unfortunately remembered for what went on going up the tunnel in Healy Park. This is not the first time Tyrone and Dublin has clashed in Omagh. I was playing that day when the famous Battle of Omagh brawl broke out, and for four or five minutes its dog eat dog in there.

You must first protect yourself then your team mates. But it seemed on Saturday night that back room staff and water carriers all felt the need to defend their teams’ honour. A tunnel bust-up is the most dangerous of them all as players can take a free go and not be seen.

“It is too easy in Omagh to access that tunnel and get on to the pitch for supporters. I will be very surprised if anyone gets suspended from this altercation. But I do expect to see fines for both counties who will be warned about future conduct.”

Mulligan, however, delivered a scathing critique of Dublin’s indiscipline.

He said: “James McCarthy was lucky not to be sent off. Niall Scully also received his marching orders with a black card. This is starting to be a regular pattern for the Dubs, and their discipline is being questioned. This did not happen in the previous years.”

Nor did too many victories for Tyrone over their rivals – Saturday’s victory coming on the back of some brilliant free-taking from Niall Morgan. 


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niall-morgan-celebrates Tommy Dickson / INPHO Niall Morgan after Saturday's win. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Mulligan said: “Niall put on an exhibition of place kicking off the ground with swirling winds to contend with. That was worth the admission fee alone.

“Peter Harte was a threat all game and the Dubs found it hard to keep tabs on him in the new position of full forward. But Brennan grabbed the headlines with a commending performance at 6. He tackled everything that moved and joined the attack all game. He was finally rewarded when he burst through and roofed the Dublin goal for the winning of the game bringing his tally to 1-1 on the night.”

Owen Mulligan is a columnist with Paddy Power news.


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