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Leinster Final 1997

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Was anyone else in Croke Park at this match? I'll never forget it because of
-No.1 The riot after the match
-No.2 The football Offaly played that day as heavy underdogs.

After the thrilling game of football that it was, myself and a friend decided to take a walk onto the hallowed turf and soak up the atmosphere with the Offaly faithful. It was extraordinary scenes.

We made our way onto the pitch near the Canal end when suddenly a bottle just missed my friend head. We turned around and it was raining projectiles from the Canal end down onto the field. Us, like many others had to run off the pitch.

It was like something you'd see on the English football terraces in the 70s and 80s. Hooliganism is the only word to describe it.

Can anyone enlighten me as to why it happened? and it did happen in case tries to say it didn't.

thegadfly (Cavan) - Posts: 262 - 28/04/2021 13:23:24    2339099

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Have been in Croke Park with Meath supporters on countless occasions and have never seen anything like what you describe.
So if it wasn't a normal occurrence then I can only suggest that perhaps you and/or your friend were the problem.

Can you give us any more information on what you were doing? Were you holding hands (unfortunately Ireland was not a very enlightened place back then)?

Greenfield (Meath) - Posts: 457 - 28/04/2021 14:35:16    2339112

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Ah , sure it must have been Dubs fans that were at that. You wouldn't see dacent country folk at that codology.
Bowsies be god !

catch22 (USA) - Posts: 2148 - 28/04/2021 15:07:06    2339126

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I remember the match well, Saturday evening throw in and us standing on the hill. Despite the great start Offaly got, there was notable tension, among us anyway, as you never had that Meath team beat. Sure enough they were eating into the lead until Roy Malone scored the second goal and we breathed a huge sigh of relief!

I never saw anything from the Meath fans but we did go straight from the Hill to the centre of the pitch and didn't meet too many. They were disappointed but sound in the pubs after it alright

tonorio (Offaly) - Posts: 587 - 28/04/2021 15:33:15    2339134

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Replying To Greenfield:  "Have been in Croke Park with Meath supporters on countless occasions and have never seen anything like what you describe.
So if it wasn't a normal occurrence then I can only suggest that perhaps you and/or your friend were the problem.

Can you give us any more information on what you were doing? Were you holding hands (unfortunately Ireland was not a very enlightened place back then)?"
Well, if it were Tom Smith that was with you, it'd explain a lot!

foreveryoung (USA) - Posts: 786 - 28/04/2021 16:22:36    2339148

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I am wodering about the incident from the Hill you describe..I wonder being a Saturday game which was fairly novel back in those days did a local element get into the Hill not giving a toss about Meath or Offaly and then just kicked off at the end when they seen the fans on the pitch etc..the home county would have won in 1995 but were still very beatable and probably lost games the and their fans feel they should have won, and to see the old enemy Meath and Offaly come from no where litterally to beat the defending Leinster & All Ireland Champions might have been a bridge to far if you were on the hill...Remember the game well, Peter Brady, Claffey and Malone..what a game those 3 had... as we celebrated at home where we watched it news came through a chap in my class in school died tragically that day, there was also a famous incident in the news that day where a chap on the run for a double murder in Roscommon was apprehended on a bicycle that afternoon...not nice topics I know but the sort of things make you remember where you were when you heard such and such etc..that was a glorious Saturday evening weather wise or did we just think that in Offaly I often wonder..football and times were better then I say..in the main that is...

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 867 - 28/04/2021 17:04:32    2339157

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I remember the next game Offaly played...the semi final v Mayo. We had just boarded the train when news filtered through that princess Diana had been killed in a car crash in Paris.

As for the game...wet day. I remember Offaly were actually favourites and Roy Malone was going to destroy Mayo. Anyway we won a dour game and went on the loose the final as we always do :/

yew_tree (Mayo) - Posts: 10843 - 28/04/2021 17:53:27    2339168

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Replying To yew_tree:  "I remember the next game Offaly played...the semi final v Mayo. We had just boarded the train when news filtered through that princess Diana had been killed in a car crash in Paris.

As for the game...wet day. I remember Offaly were actually favourites and Roy Malone was going to destroy Mayo. Anyway we won a dour game and went on the loose the final as we always do :/"
I remember Claffey caressing that Meath net :D

realdub (Dublin) - Posts: 8285 - 28/04/2021 19:29:35    2339183

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Replying To thegadfly:  "Was anyone else in Croke Park at this match? I'll never forget it because of
-No.1 The riot after the match
-No.2 The football Offaly played that day as heavy underdogs.

After the thrilling game of football that it was, myself and a friend decided to take a walk onto the hallowed turf and soak up the atmosphere with the Offaly faithful. It was extraordinary scenes.

We made our way onto the pitch near the Canal end when suddenly a bottle just missed my friend head. We turned around and it was raining projectiles from the Canal end down onto the field. Us, like many others had to run off the pitch.

It was like something you'd see on the English football terraces in the 70s and 80s. Hooliganism is the only word to describe it.

Can anyone enlighten me as to why it happened? and it did happen in case tries to say it didn't."
Ah the great imaginary Croke Park riot of 97, who can forget, obviously not you as this is your second attempt to highlight this non issue. Witnessed nothing myself, however remember reading somewhere of two idiots dancing in front of Canal End looking for the crowd to throw them down free water,(ring any bells), did not realise they were from Cavan, makes perfect sense now.

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1690 - 28/04/2021 19:35:22    2339186

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Replying To yew_tree:  "I remember the next game Offaly played...the semi final v Mayo. We had just boarded the train when news filtered through that princess Diana had been killed in a car crash in Paris.

As for the game...wet day. I remember Offaly were actually favourites and Roy Malone was going to destroy Mayo. Anyway we won a dour game and went on the loose the final as we always do :/"
Ahh I was in dublin that weekend for the U2 Popmart concert, I remember the Saturday night we were supposed to go to the Pod night club but 1 of the lads girlfriend made us go to the Garda club, we got so bored in the Garda club that we got a bit roudy and got thrown out, great times but I remember waking up on the over crowded floor of my friends girlfriends sitting room and sky news was running the story of Diana.

KingdomBoy1 (Kerry) - Posts: 13956 - 28/04/2021 19:37:02    2339187

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The projectiles came from the canal end where all the Meath followers were. It was literally raining bottles and other objects down onto the field. The Offaly support where further up onto the centre. I'm not having a go at Meath here but it did happen and I'm interested as to whether there was a reason for it other than they lost. Surely there is a Meath poster who was in the canal end that evening?

thegadfly (Cavan) - Posts: 262 - 28/04/2021 20:19:27    2339204

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "I am wodering about the incident from the Hill you describe..I wonder being a Saturday game which was fairly novel back in those days did a local element get into the Hill not giving a toss about Meath or Offaly and then just kicked off at the end when they seen the fans on the pitch etc..the home county would have won in 1995 but were still very beatable and probably lost games the and their fans feel they should have won, and to see the old enemy Meath and Offaly come from no where litterally to beat the defending Leinster & All Ireland Champions might have been a bridge to far if you were on the hill...Remember the game well, Peter Brady, Claffey and Malone..what a game those 3 had... as we celebrated at home where we watched it news came through a chap in my class in school died tragically that day, there was also a famous incident in the news that day where a chap on the run for a double murder in Roscommon was apprehended on a bicycle that afternoon...not nice topics I know but the sort of things make you remember where you were when you heard such and such etc..that was a glorious Saturday evening weather wise or did we just think that in Offaly I often wonder..football and times were better then I say..in the main that is..."
Ah here, even in probably fictitious situations that have nothing to do with us and it's still our fault?!

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 13408 - 28/04/2021 20:23:09    2339205

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "I am wodering about the incident from the Hill you describe..I wonder being a Saturday game which was fairly novel back in those days did a local element get into the Hill not giving a toss about Meath or Offaly and then just kicked off at the end when they seen the fans on the pitch etc..the home county would have won in 1995 but were still very beatable and probably lost games the and their fans feel they should have won, and to see the old enemy Meath and Offaly come from no where litterally to beat the defending Leinster & All Ireland Champions might have been a bridge to far if you were on the hill...Remember the game well, Peter Brady, Claffey and Malone..what a game those 3 had... as we celebrated at home where we watched it news came through a chap in my class in school died tragically that day, there was also a famous incident in the news that day where a chap on the run for a double murder in Roscommon was apprehended on a bicycle that afternoon...not nice topics I know but the sort of things make you remember where you were when you heard such and such etc..that was a glorious Saturday evening weather wise or did we just think that in Offaly I often wonder..football and times were better then I say..in the main that is..."
Ya, don't think Offaly has managed to move on in time from then really.
Very barren aul period for the county GAA wise and not a great spot at the best of times to visit either.
Doesn't look like there's a whole pile of talent coming through but sure Fennelly might stir ye a bit.

catch22 (USA) - Posts: 2148 - 28/04/2021 21:11:20    2339208

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Replying To thegadfly:  "Was anyone else in Croke Park at this match? I'll never forget it because of
-No.1 The riot after the match
-No.2 The football Offaly played that day as heavy underdogs.

After the thrilling game of football that it was, myself and a friend decided to take a walk onto the hallowed turf and soak up the atmosphere with the Offaly faithful. It was extraordinary scenes.

We made our way onto the pitch near the Canal end when suddenly a bottle just missed my friend head. We turned around and it was raining projectiles from the Canal end down onto the field. Us, like many others had to run off the pitch.

It was like something you'd see on the English football terraces in the 70s and 80s. Hooliganism is the only word to describe it.

Can anyone enlighten me as to why it happened? and it did happen in case tries to say it didn't."
What a championship we had in leinster in the late nineties, croke Park was used allot for leinster matches back then and the atmosphere there especially on the two terraces in them days seemed so much better then now, I was at the back beside the score board for meath matches in them days, can't remember bottles been thrown but back then the hill and canal end did attract the odd fool who taught there were at a English soccer game, but to be fair everyone around them were quick to remind them that that shxte wasn't tolerated here, on the game itself offaly were deserving winners that day, and it started a short rivalry with meath winning in 98 and 99 and offaly In 97 and 2000.

Royal.Legend (Meath) - Posts: 536 - 28/04/2021 22:11:01    2339215

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Replying To thegadfly:  "Was anyone else in Croke Park at this match? I'll never forget it because of
-No.1 The riot after the match
-No.2 The football Offaly played that day as heavy underdogs.

After the thrilling game of football that it was, myself and a friend decided to take a walk onto the hallowed turf and soak up the atmosphere with the Offaly faithful. It was extraordinary scenes.

We made our way onto the pitch near the Canal end when suddenly a bottle just missed my friend head. We turned around and it was raining projectiles from the Canal end down onto the field. Us, like many others had to run off the pitch.

It was like something you'd see on the English football terraces in the 70s and 80s. Hooliganism is the only word to describe it.

Can anyone enlighten me as to why it happened? and it did happen in case tries to say it didn't."
Your exaggerating a lot in your description but I remember the incidence your talking about. The 3 games against Kildare previously played a big part in Meaths bad performance, especially in defence (the entire full back line of O'Reilly, Fay and O'Connell were out as well as Geraghty in the forwards).
The incidence had nothing to do with Offaly fans.
Due to 1996 final replay, with the fight/ sendings off/ close result and talk after the game there was a real edge to the rivalry between Meath and Mayo. Mayo were expecting to be playing Meath in a semi final that year and some of their fans went onto the hill, where the Offaly fans were to watch this game and had a big banner up in the hill. After the game, after Offaly had easily beaten Meath in what was a huge shock (Offaly I think we're div. 4 I think that year) the Mayo fans with the banner thought it was a good idea to bring the banner down in front of the Meath fans still on the canal end to laugh at them. Some of the Meath fans on the canal reacted but it only lasted a small amount of time as fairly quickly a few Meath lads took the banner off the Mayo lads. Certainly not a riot.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 1008 - 28/04/2021 22:20:22    2339222

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I was there that evening and don't remember a single incident never mind a "riot" which sounds more than a bit dramatic. I remember Roy Malone ran riot that night alright.

Onion Breath (Carlow) - Posts: 1307 - 28/04/2021 23:05:03    2339229

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Replying To bdbuddah:  "Your exaggerating a lot in your description but I remember the incidence your talking about. The 3 games against Kildare previously played a big part in Meaths bad performance, especially in defence (the entire full back line of O'Reilly, Fay and O'Connell were out as well as Geraghty in the forwards).
The incidence had nothing to do with Offaly fans.
Due to 1996 final replay, with the fight/ sendings off/ close result and talk after the game there was a real edge to the rivalry between Meath and Mayo. Mayo were expecting to be playing Meath in a semi final that year and some of their fans went onto the hill, where the Offaly fans were to watch this game and had a big banner up in the hill. After the game, after Offaly had easily beaten Meath in what was a huge shock (Offaly I think we're div. 4 I think that year) the Mayo fans with the banner thought it was a good idea to bring the banner down in front of the Meath fans still on the canal end to laugh at them. Some of the Meath fans on the canal reacted but it only lasted a small amount of time as fairly quickly a few Meath lads took the banner off the Mayo lads. Certainly not a riot."
Fair play for your reply. That explains a lot. I'll admit that it may not have went on very long but it was quite intense especially if you happened to be under the missiles raining down.
How childish of the Mayo followers to carry on like that. I'm not saying that behaviour excuses what happened either but I can sort of understand now why it happened.
I have to admit I didn't see the Mayo lads doing that hence the curiosity of why it happened.
I do remember the rivalry between Meath and Mayo at the time being fierce alright.

thegadfly (Cavan) - Posts: 262 - 29/04/2021 17:06:11    2339379

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The Meath lads just getting in some throwing practice. Was put to use in Kells a few weeks later!

;)

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4565 - 29/04/2021 19:54:39    2339406

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Replying To thegadfly:  "Fair play for your reply. That explains a lot. I'll admit that it may not have went on very long but it was quite intense especially if you happened to be under the missiles raining down.
How childish of the Mayo followers to carry on like that. I'm not saying that behaviour excuses what happened either but I can sort of understand now why it happened.
I have to admit I didn't see the Mayo lads doing that hence the curiosity of why it happened.
I do remember the rivalry between Meath and Mayo at the time being fierce alright."
interesting that explanation, I actually went to the semi final in August V Mayo..(the day Princess Dianna was killed as we all remember it from too) I was telling someone that week I was going and he told me "mmmm..some Mayo fans are not nice, can be very arrogant etc"...I thought no more of it, BUT we were beside a crew of them at the match, and these were not your ordinary supporter by the the dress of them, they were suited and booted with collar an ties and trench coats, they watched the match like people possessed, I mean every decision that went against them, the referee, then Offaly player involved, and then us around them were ate alive..lucky the Offaly fans in our vicinity were quiet enough because if there was anyone with a short fuse, I do think one or two of them suited and booted yuppies would have got a clatter or two..when the match was over they berated us as we left our seats..now to be fair, there were other Mayo supporters in the vacinity whom were dead sound, and almost spoke in whispers almost in fear of the other robust well dressed crew..I never really liked Mayo supporters in general after that, which seems harsh considering I did say some around us were sound people...I just detected a ferocious arrogance in that particular group which is unfair to taint all others with but jaysus these were the pits and unfortunately its perceptions like that that tarnish ones oppinion towards all their fans which I know isnt fair really...signs on luck wise they are still waiting for their All Ireland...I did and do support the Mayo teams over the years though trying to win, I just dont want to be in the crowd near that nasty suit an tie brigade crowd I ended up beside that August day in 1997..my friend was correct the week before the match...why on earth would they be bothered going to an Offaly/Meath game to taunt the Meath supporters..like get

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 867 - 29/04/2021 23:21:33    2339447

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "interesting that explanation, I actually went to the semi final in August V Mayo..(the day Princess Dianna was killed as we all remember it from too) I was telling someone that week I was going and he told me "mmmm..some Mayo fans are not nice, can be very arrogant etc"...I thought no more of it, BUT we were beside a crew of them at the match, and these were not your ordinary supporter by the the dress of them, they were suited and booted with collar an ties and trench coats, they watched the match like people possessed, I mean every decision that went against them, the referee, then Offaly player involved, and then us around them were ate alive..lucky the Offaly fans in our vicinity were quiet enough because if there was anyone with a short fuse, I do think one or two of them suited and booted yuppies would have got a clatter or two..when the match was over they berated us as we left our seats..now to be fair, there were other Mayo supporters in the vacinity whom were dead sound, and almost spoke in whispers almost in fear of the other robust well dressed crew..I never really liked Mayo supporters in general after that, which seems harsh considering I did say some around us were sound people...I just detected a ferocious arrogance in that particular group which is unfair to taint all others with but jaysus these were the pits and unfortunately its perceptions like that that tarnish ones oppinion towards all their fans which I know isnt fair really...signs on luck wise they are still waiting for their All Ireland...I did and do support the Mayo teams over the years though trying to win, I just dont want to be in the crowd near that nasty suit an tie brigade crowd I ended up beside that August day in 1997..my friend was correct the week before the match...why on earth would they be bothered going to an Offaly/Meath game to taunt the Meath supporters..like get"
It's hard to fathom alright. Well at least we know now why it happened and thank you to bdbuddah for both the acknowledgement that there was an incident and the explanation.

thegadfly (Cavan) - Posts: 262 - 01/05/2021 22:30:27    2339665

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