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  • Thu 29 Jan 2015
  • 11:30amConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Senior B
    Presentation College Headford vs. Carrick-on-Shannon Community School Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League 1st Year A
    Summerhill College Sligo vs. St. Colman`s College Summerhill College Sligo
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League 1st Year A
    Claregalway College vs. St. Muredach`s College St. Muredach`s College
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League 1st Year A
    St. Gerald`s College vs. Rice College Westport Rice College Westport
  • 1:45pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    N.U.I. Galway vs. University of Limerick N.U.I. Galway
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    Cork Institute of Technology vs. Dublin City University Cork IT
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fergal Maher Cup 2015
    Galway/Roscommon ETB vs. G.M.I.T. Letterfrack Liam Mellowes
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fergal Maher Cup 2015
    Institute of Technology Sligo vs. DkIT IT Sligo Grounds
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    Maynooth University vs. Athlone Institute of Technology Maynooth University North Campus
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    St Mary's University College vs. Ulster Unviersity Jordanstown St Genevieves High School Belfast
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    G.M.I.T. vs. IT Carlow Carnmore Hurling Club
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 2 Championship 2015
    Trinity College Dublin vs. Instititute of Technology Blanchardstown Clanna Gael Fontenoy
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    Dublin City University vs. Cork Institute of Technology Dublin City University Sportsgrounds
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    Limerick IT vs. Ulster Unviersity Jordanstown Limerick IT
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    University College Cork vs. G.M.I.T. Mardyke
  • 3:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Ryan Cup 2015
    Institute of Technology Tallaght vs. Trinity College Dublin Thomas Davis All Weather Pitch
  • 3:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    N.U.I. Galway vs. University of Limerick Dangan
  • 3:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    University College Dublin vs. St Patricks-Mater Dei Belfield
  • 5:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fergal Maher Cup 2015
    Marino Institiute of Education vs. St Mary's University College St. Vincents GAA Club
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Ryan Cup 2015
    Athlone Institute of Technology vs. Queens University Belfast
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    Maynooth University vs. Mary Immaculate College Limerick Maynooth University North Campus
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    IT Carlow vs. Waterford Institute of Technology Carlow I.T.
  • 7:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    University College Cork vs. Queens University Belfast Ballykelly
  • 8:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Loughmacrory St Teresa's vs. Brockagh Emmetts Garvaghey
  • 8:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    Dublin Institute of Technology vs. Institute of Technology Sligo Bray Emmets GAA
  • Fri 30 Jan 2015
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior D
    Colaiste Mhuire Ballymote vs. St Cuans Castleblakney Ballinlough
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior B
    Presentation College Headford vs. Holy Rosary College Mountbellew Tuam Stadium
  • 1:00pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Juvenile A
    Rice College Westport vs. St. Colman`s College A: Connacht GAA Centre
  • 3:00pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior D
    Sancta Muire Louisburgh vs. Colaiste Iaseaigh, Easkey A: Connacht GAA Centre
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Cortown vs. St Ultan's Cortown
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    St Mary's vs. Carnaross Donore
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Moynalty vs. Kilbride Moynalty
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    O'Mahonys vs. Ballinlough Navan O'Mahony's
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Simonstown vs. Donaghmore/Ashbourne Simonstown
  • 8:00pmU21 Football
    Championship
    St Broughan's vs. St Vincent's Walsh Island
  • 8:00pmU21 Football
    Championship
    Clara vs. Tullamore/An Tulach Mhór Clara
  • 8:00pmU21 C North
    Football Championship
    St Brendan's vs. Milltown Ballygar
  • 9:00pmS.F.L.
    Glenmore vs. Mullinavat Piltown
  • Sat 31 Jan 2015
  • 11:00amMinor F.C. Roinn A
    Winner of S/Final vs. Mooncoin TBC
  • 12:00pmI.F.L.
    Rower Inistioge vs. Dicksboro The Rower
  • 2:00pmUnder-16 F.C.
    Roinn B
    St Fiacres vs. St Martin's Dr Tierney Park
  • 2:00pmJ.F.L.
    Graigue Ballycallan vs. John Lockes TBC
  • 2:00pmJ.F.L.
    Kilmacow vs. Windgap Kilmacow
  • 2:00pmJ.F.L.
    Tullogher Rosbercon vs. Graignamanagh Tullogher
  • 2:00pmJ.F.L.
    Carrickshock vs. Young Irelands Hugginstown
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Salthill-Knocknacarra vs. Roscommon Gaels Salthill-Knocknacarra
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Western Gaels vs. Carrick Hurling Club (St Marys) Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Skehana vs. Westport GAA Skehana Community Development Pitch
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Mícheál Breathnach vs. Flipadeoiri Longfort Carnmore GAA Club
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Ballinasloe GAA vs. Castlebar Mitchels Hurling Ballinasloe
  • 2:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Naomh Seamas vs. Dungannon Thomas Clarkes St James'
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 1 2015
    Áth Liag/Athleague vs. Ballyhaunis Athleague
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Cluainin Iomaint vs. Tuarloistreáin/Tourlestrane Glencar/Manorhamilton Hurling
  • 2:00pmJ.F.L.
    Muckalee vs. Graignamanagh Muckalee
  • 2:00pmU14.F.L.R.B.
    Kilmoganny vs. Glenmore Dunnamaggin
  • 2:00pm2015 Hasting Cup
    Roscommon vs. Galway Clonbonny
  • 3:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Domhnach Mór Naoimh Pádraig vs. Málainn/Malin Donaghmore GAA
  • 3:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    St Colman's Drumaness vs. Stewartstown Harps Drumaness
  • 3:00pmJ.F.L.
    Tullogher Rosbercon vs. Young Irelands Tullogher
  • 3:00pmU14.F.L.R.B.
    Glenmore vs. Kilmoganny Pairc na Ratha
  • 3:20pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Ballinamore Hurling Club vs. Tremane Ballinamore Hurling Club
  • 3:30pmAll County
    Football A League
    Syddan vs. Drumconrath Syddan
  • 3:30pmI.F.L.
    Blacks and Whites vs. Piltown Tom Walsh Park
  • 5:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 1 2015
    Oran Hurling Club vs. Tuairín Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 6:30pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Bryansford vs. An Eaglais, Naoimh Pádraig Bryansford
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Tyrone vs. Monaghan Healy Park, Omagh
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Donegal vs. Derry Ballybofey
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Fermanagh vs. Louth Brewster Park
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    Waterford vs. Wicklow Fraher Field
  • 7:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    St Michael's vs. Ratoath Carlanstown
  • 7:00pmMunster Waterford
    Crystal Hurling Cup 2013
    Cork vs. Limerick Mallow
  • 8:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    St. Dominics vs. Sylane Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • Sun 01 Feb 2015
  • 11:00am2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Truagh vs. Naomh Conaill Truagh
  • 11:00amMinor F.C. Roinn C
    Tullaroan vs. Kilmoganny Tullaroan
  • 11:00amU21 C North
    Football Championship
    Williamstown vs. Cortoon Shamrocks Williamstown
  • 11:15am2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Naomh Pól CLG /St Pauls GAC vs. Steelstown St Marys CBS
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Walterstown vs. Drumbaragh Walterstown
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Moynalvey vs. Rathkenny Moynalvey
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    St Colmcilles vs. Nobber Piltown
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Castletown vs. Gaeil Colmcille Castletown
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Trim vs. Oldcastle GFC Trim
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Dunderry vs. Bective Dunderry
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Ballinabrackey vs. Longwood Ballinabrackey
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Clann na nGael vs. Meath Hill Athboy
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Kilmainham vs. St Brigid's Kilmainham
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Ballivor vs. St Paul's Ballivor
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Clonard vs. Moylagh Clonard
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    St Vincents vs. Dunsany Ardcath
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Slane vs. Kilmainhamwood Slane
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    St Patrick's vs. Duleek-Bellewstown Stamullen
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Wolfe Tones vs. St Peter's, Dunboyne Kilberry
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Na Fianna vs. Summerhill Enfield
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Dunshaughlin vs. Skryne Dunshaughlin
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Bellaghy vs. Sarsfields Bellaghy
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Pomeroy Plunketts vs. Derrytresk Fir aChnoic Pomeroy
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Brackaville Owen Roes vs. Dromara Brackaville
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Claudy vs. All Saints Ballymena Claudy
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Liatroim vs. Desertmartin Liatroim
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Gortin St Patrick's vs. Urney St Colmcille's Gortin
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Droim Ratha an tSáirsealaigh vs. Derrylaughan Kevin Barry's GAC Drumragh
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    An Ríocht vs. St Marys Slaughtmanus GAC Cookstown
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Owen Roe O`Neill's GAC, Leckpatrick vs. Kildress Wolfe Tones Pairc an Ghleanna
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Enniskillen Gaels vs. Erne Gaels Belleek Brewster Park
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Ederney St Joseph's vs. Lisnaskea Emmetts Ederney
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Knockninny Gaels vs. Tempo Maguires
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    St. Gerard's vs. Derrygonnelly Harps
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Belcoo O`Rahilly's vs. Maguiresbridge St Mary's Belcoo
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs vs. Devenish St Mary's Newtownbutler GAA
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Brookeboro Heber McMahons vs. St Patrick's Donagh Brookeboro
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Coa O`Dwyer's vs. Kinawley Brian Borus Coa
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Belnaleck Art McMurroughs vs. Irvinestown St Molaises Belnaleck
  • 12:00pmU21 Football
    Championship
    St Patrick's vs. Na Fianna Minor Club Edenderry Main Grounds
  • 12:00pmU21 Football
    Championship
    St Manchan's Gaels vs. Wheery Tubber
  • 1:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Curraha vs. Boardsmill Curraha
  • 1:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Drum vs. Belcoo O`Rahilly's Drum
  • 2:00pmSenior Hurling
    Championship
    Athenry vs. Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry Raheen
  • 2:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Seneschalstown vs. Blackhall Gaels Seneschalstown
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Conahy Shamrocks vs. Glenmore Jenkinstown
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Mullinavat vs. Railyard GFC Mullinavat
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Mooncoin vs. St. Patrick's Mooncoin
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Kilmoganny vs. Clara Dunnamaggin
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    O`Loughlin Gaels vs. Muckalee St. John's Park
  • 2:00pmI.F.L.
    Danesfort vs. Erins Own Danesfort
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Cork vs. Dublin Páirc Uí Rinn
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Kerry vs. Mayo Fitzgerald Stadium
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Galway vs. Meath Pearse Stadium
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Roscommon vs. Cavan Kiltoom
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Westmeath vs. Laois Cusack Park, Mullingar
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Kildare vs. Down Newbridge
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Clare vs. Wexford Miltown Malbay
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Limerick vs. Sligo Newcastlewest
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Armagh vs. Tipperary Athletic Grounds
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    London vs. Offaly Ruislip
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    Leitrim vs. Longford Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    Antrim vs. Carlow Pairc Naomh Pól
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Meath vs. Longford Trim
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Louth vs. St Patricks-Mater Dei Darver
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Wicklow vs. Maynooth University Arklow
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Fingal vs. Kildare IT Blanchardstown GAA Pitch
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Walsh
    Cup SH 2015
    Carlow vs. Galway Dr. Cullen Park
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Walsh
    Cup SH 2015
    Laois vs. Dublin Portlaoise
  • 2:00pmAIB GAA Football
    All Ireland Junior Club Championship 14/15
    Brosna vs. Rock St Patrick's Ballinasloe
  • Mon 02 Feb 2015
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior D
    Drumshambo VS vs. Jesus & Mary Secondary Enniscrone A: Connacht GAA Centre
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior A
    St. Attractas Community School Tubbercurry vs. St Geralds, Castlebar Swinford GAA Club
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior A
    St. Jarlath`s College Tuam vs. Presentation College Athenry Menlough
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior A
    St Colmans, Claremorris vs. StMuredeachs Kiltimagh GAA Club
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior B
    Ballyhaunis Community School vs. St. Clare`s Comprehensive Manorhamilton Tubbercurry GAA
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais 2015
    Carlow Institute of Further Education vs. Mater Dei
  • 7:00pmMinor F.C. Roinn A
    Dicksboro vs. O`Loughlin Gaels Palmerstown
  • 11:59pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Trench Cup 2015
    Cavan Institute vs. Marino Institiute of Education Cavan Institute
  • Tue 03 Feb 2015
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    Athlone Institute of Technology vs. University College Dublin TBC
  • 2:45pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    Institute of Technology Tralee vs. IT Carlow IT Tralee GAA Pitche
  • 6:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    Maynooth University vs. University of Limerick Maynooth University North Campus
  • 7:00pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior A
    Summerhill College Sligo vs. Roscommon CBS Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais 2015
    St Patricks College Thurles vs. Galway T.I
  • 7:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Senior Hurling League Division 2 2014/15
    Ulster Unviersity Jordanstown vs. N.U.I. Galway TBC
  • 8:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Ballinderry vs. Lavey Ballinderry
  • 8:00pmS.F.L.
    Thomastown vs. James Stephens Piltown
  • Wed 04 Feb 2015
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior D
    Colaiste Cholmcille, Indreabhain vs. Ballymote/St Cuans
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Senior B
    St. Mary`s College Galway vs. St. Joseph`s College Galway Eire Og
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Senior B
    Holy Rosary College Mountbellew vs. Ballinamore Secondary School Kilbride
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    Ulster Unviersity Jordanstown vs. Dublin City University Jordanstown
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Hurling Division 1 Championship 2015
    Dublin Institute of Technology vs. Mary Immaculate College Limerick Grangegorman
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Hurling Division 1 Championship 2015
    Maynooth University vs. St Patricks-Mater Dei Maynooth University North Campus
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    The Law School vs. RCSI The Law School
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    National College of Ireland vs. G.M.I.T. Mayo Clontarf GAA
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    Cadets vs. Ulster University Magee McDonagh Pitch
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    G.M.I.T. Letterfrack vs. N.W.R.C. Letterfrack
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn Padraig Mac Diarmada 2015
    Ulster University Coleraine vs. Ulster University Magee Ulster University Coleraine
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Ryan Cup 2015
    Institute of Technology Tralee vs. Institute of Technology Tallaght IT Tralee GAA Pitche
  • 3:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    N.U.I. Galway vs. St Mary's University College Dangan
View all Fixtures & Results >
GAA POLL

If you could choose one of the 2014 All-Stars to train with, who would it be?

Daily News


Legends: Liam McHale

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This Saturday, former Mayo midfielder Liam McHale will return to Croke Park for the All-Ireland Legends Tour to look back on his four All-Ireland final day experiences.

The day before his county's much anticipated All-Ireland final clash with Donegal on Sunday, when they will bid to end a 61-year wait for the Sam Maguire Cup, Liam will look back on his dramatic experiences of football's biggest day in 1989, 1996 (including the replay) and 1997 respectively.

Click here for information on how to book for Liam's Legends Tour.

Below is an exclusive interview GAA.ie conducted with Liam ahead of this bumper weekend for Mayo GAA fans, where he looks back on some of the key moments and themes of his career.

LEGENDS TOUR

I'm delighted to be asked. I'm a little bit nervous, especially with the fact that, even though I've played in Croke Park many times, and I've seen pictures of myself up there, I never won an All-Ireland so I'd be a little bit apprehensive about that. The fact that with Mayo, we played in four and didn't win any of them...it kind of makes me a little bit embarrassed in a way. But at the same time I'm delighted to be asked.

I played in the 1989, 1996 (2) and 1997 All-Ireland finals, and a club All-Ireland final in 1998 and was beaten in them all. Croke Park is one of the finest stadiums in Europe but it hasn't been a happy hunting ground for us over the years, but we're quite optimistic now that this Sunday could be a special day for us in Mayo.

A BASKETBALL PLAYER

I first came into the Mayo panel for the replay in 1985 against Dublin. Liam O'Neill saw me playing in a club match and asked me to come in between those two games. But I didn't get a game that year. I started the league campaign then in 1986.

But I was more or less a basketball player. I wasn't paying as much attention to Mayo or to the football, as most aspiring Gaelic footballers would be. I was playing with the club, it was kind of like: "Liam, we're stuck. Will you come and play?" I won underage medals with the Stephenites, but my first game was basketball. So when I came into the panel I didn't really know Willie Joe Padden or TJ Kilgallon or Dermot Flanagan, the household names.

I wouldn't have been as familiar with them as maybe other young lads coming in so it was a little bit different for me in that respect. But I must say, at that time there were American basketball coaches coming over from the States to see me play and wanted me to sign and play college ball in the States, so I was kind of scouted to go.

But I kind of fell in love with the football and enjoyed playing with the boys, they were and still are very nice guys. They made me feel very welcome. At the start I felt a little bit like a stranger because of my basketball background, but I turned down them scholarships in the States, to play football with Mayo. I enjoyed it that much, once I got into it.

I NEVER PLAYED COUNTY MINOR

My brothers would only have played Gaelic football recreationally, like me as well. We won the county minor title and I got Man of the Match in the county final, and Austin Garvan, who was the manager of the Mayo team at the time, asked me to play for the Mayo minors and I said: "Austin, I don't mean to be disrespectful but I have absolutely no interest in playing for the Mayo minors." He couldn't believe that, and I kind of feel a little bit bad about that now.

But at the time I didn't have any interest, and I never played minor. But then about two months later, John O'Mahony asked me to join the U21 panel. I was still a minor at the time. And for some reason, on that day, I said "Yeah, when is training?" He said "Tuesday night" and I said, "Well I'll be there."

That was the start of the intercounty scene then. I played my first full game for Mayo in Ennis, an U21 All-Ireland final. I was 18, I played four years U21 in the end. We played Cork, they beat us by two points in the All-Ireland final. Niall Cahillane was playing, they were a very good team.

A DOUBLE SPORTING LIFE

I never gave up the basketball or curtailed it. I kept playing and obviously we won two cups and a league at the highest level throughout the good times of Mayo football. I was a bit like Kieran Donaghy in that regard. In 1996, 1997 and 1998 ourselves and Neptune were the two best basketball teams in the country. And yet, we were getting into All-Ireland finals as well with Mayo so the mid 1990s was a very busy time for the club. The Stephenites got into an All-Ireland final in 1998 as well. We were a good club side. The Mayo team were banging on the door trying to win an All-Ireland, and the basketball team I played on had won two cups.

We won a cup in 1991 and in 1996, and we won the league in between. So the early to mid 1990s was an absolutely hectic time for me - a great time - but a hectic time as well. I was very fortunute. I played for managers who respected basketball and who respected the level we were playing at and the fitness levels required. John Maughan for example was a serious task master, and he would have been at 90% of our our home games.

He'd come to Ballina every Saturday night to see us playing and to see the Americans playing, to see the level we were at. He'd talk to me after the game, I'd have something to eat and would go home and be in Castlebar or be in Fermanagh or be in Donegal or wherever I needed to be the next day to play football for Mayo.

It was hard-going. Travelling was the worst thing. I remember playing a cup game in Waterford and we were playing Fermanagh the next evening. I remember there was a car outside the gym in Waterford waiting for me. All my teammates were heading off celebrating and going for a few beers, and I'm heading into a car for a five hour journey. Get to Fermanagh at four o'clock in the morning, sandwiches and juice waiting for me. You then go to bed, up at nine o'clock and have breakfast with the boys. That's pretty hectic. But I must say, I enjoyed it. That's what I enjoyed doing.

OPPORTUNITIES

I got on the Irish senior team very early. I was on the Irish senior basketball team at 17 or 18 years of age and I toured the States with the Irish team and a lot of American coaches seen me playing. One of them actually came over to Ireland for a week to try and get me to sign for Drexel University, a Division I school in Philadelphia. The ambition there was to possibly go over and play ball in the States, and then see what would happen after that.

Then years later, when I was about 30, the Bosman ruling came in and there were teams in Europe that wanted me to sign. I was playing for Mayo, it was the mid 1990s and we were very close to winning an All-Ireland. When you get to 33, 34 and you're still playing for your county, all you're doing is to try and win an All-Ireland. There's not an awful lot of fun in it then. The athleticism thing had gone through the roof in the mid 1990s, there was a lot of power lifting going on. And when you're 33 or 34, and you're playing two games at the highest level all your life, it's a struggle.

It was a lot of hard work, and it wasn't as enjoyable as it was earlier in my career. But the fact of the matter was we had a good underage team. John Casey was there, David Brady, Ciaran McDonald. Add that to myself, Anthony Finnerty, Pat Holmes, Dermot Flanagan and so on, you think to yourself "If I keep myself in shape here, we'll get another crack at an All-Ireland and maybe we'll win one."

1989

The funny thing is, we had chances to win that final, every final in fact. I kicked a high centre into Noel Durkin, Noel Durkin turned, gave it into Anthony Finnerty, he turned and stuck it in the back of the net with about 25 minutes to go. Then we kicked four wides after that. We dominated Cork for seven or eight minutes and could have put them away. They were after losing the last two All-Ireland finals. And at that particular moment, they were a little bit fragile. We missed a chance.

We had got a little bit frantic when we got the goal. And Cork settled down. We just watched the last few minutes fizzle out on us. Even though that was a great Cork team, we had a great opportunity to win that game with 10 minutes to go. I think the fact that they had been in the last two All-Irelands and the fact that they had so much firepower up front, I suppose it just won the day for them in the end.

I've seen it since once or twice, and you'd cringe when you see it, you say "Oh my God, look at all those chances we had."

SEVEN YEARS ON

It was the same in 1996. In the drawn game we were six up. I got the ball, I was turning onto my left, I hit it about 35 yards out and it hit the post. And I was never as happy to see the ball hit the post in my life because it came straight to James Horan.

We were six up and I said to myself: "James is going to bury this in the back of the net." I'm sure he said he'd go for safety. He went to tap it over the bar to put us seven up, that was definitely his decision making at the time. But he hit the far post, and they went down and scored.

All of a sudden then, they won the next kickout and all of a sudden we're only four up and there's a bit of a problem. What happens happens, and then at the very end the ball bounces over the bar and the game is a draw.

REPLAY

We had a real opportunity that day as well. Sometimes you wonder would we have been better off being beaten by five or six points and not have a hope of winning the game. Because the regrets are even bigger when you're right there and you get these chances to win a game and it just doesn't work out on the day. And you just say "My God." You have to then start all over again and see if you have that hunger in your belly for another go.

GETTING SENT OFF

When I got sent off, I couldn't believe it. I thought to myself, there's 20 guys at in, like in a brawl outside Supermacs. Twenty guys at it and he picks me and Colm Coyle. I just was in a state of shock, I could not believe it. Then I was sitting down, I drank some water, and I tried to gather myself together to try and help the boys out. I thought there's no point in me sitting there on the cooling box like a stuffed dummy.

There was a football match to be played and I had to try and be a positive influence at half-time in the dressing room and stuff like that. It's easy to sulk and feel sorry for yourself, and think only about yourself, but the game had to go on. In fairness, the lads were absolutely brilliant that day, in the game and in extra-time itself.

But obviously me getting sent off was a disaster. I firmly believe if they sent Jimmy McGuinness or John McDermott off with me, as in, if they had sent a Meath midfielder off with me, we probably would have won the game because we had to take off Ray Dempsey and get a midfielder in. I think they just brought Trevor Giles back to the half-back line. At that stage, we had only two subs left because it was only three subs at the time. And that game went to extra time. So that was a crucial blow for us.

GUILT?

I'd do the same thing if the game was tomorrow. You're one of the leaders on the team, a row breaks out. Fellas are getting haymakers, real punches in the head and stuff like that. If you're any sort of a man at all, you couldn't possibly stand up and watch that. You have to get in there. I remember John Casey had a lot of swelling around the side of his head. A good few of our lads were hurt after that game, there was some serious punches being thrown. There was nothing else I could do. I'd do the same again. You just have to go in there. I went in there to break it up, and once you get two or three haymakers to the face, you kind of say, I'm going to get hurt here if I don't start swinging. So that's exactly what happened.

IN 1997, MAURICE FITZGERALD TOOK OVER

We started off very badly in the 1997 final. I think we were five or six down early on. I was playing in full-forward, and then I was moved back to midfield in the second half and we got back in the game. We got a penalty, Ciaran McDonald stuck it away and I think we got within a point. And then Maurice Fitzgerald took over. He scored two or three massive points and they ended up winning by three. We only played for 15 minutes in that game really.

It was kind of like the Cork game in 1989. It was 11 years since Kerry had won one, and they kind of got unsure of themselves and they started panicking a little bit. But we didn't have what was needed to get that two or three point lead that was necessary to put them under pressure. And Maurice then stood up in the last few minutes and took the game by the scruff of the neck.

WHY DID WE LOSE THOSE FINALS?

I remember Peter Forde asking me, a colleague of mine, a man who's big into the coaching like myself, and he said: "How can you win with that basketball team that you have, with such limited resources and such limited players? How do you seem so strong mentally in tight situations?"

One answer I could give him was: "Peter, it seems to me to be a lot easier to get eight or nine or 10 guys on the same page than it is 30." When you're playing, you're not concerned about anyone else. You're only concerned about yourself. You don't look at how the other guys are thinking, but I'm sure that we went to those All-Irelands...in fact, I would be 100 per cent sure that we went to those All-Irelands with not everyone being confident that they could win.

And if one guy is scared, you're probably not going to win, because the margins are that tight. That was the only answer I could give Peter. That it's very difficult to get 30 guys really believing that they can win these massive ball games. That was our problem. I can't point at anyone, but they know.

The biggest thing for me was to be able to walk off the pitch and have my head held high. And down deep, to know that I gave it everything I could for my team and for my teammates. I tried to do that, and then there's no point in going round sulking about it. You gave it your best shot and now it's time to spend a bit of time with your wife or your girlfriend or your friends and have a bit of fun. I always try to have that sort of a situation where, once it's over, it's over.

Sure, there's lads that were on the team that were with us that time that didn't believe, that weren't 100 per cent confident. And if you have that, it's going to cost you. I think that's what happened to us in the end. We had 15 fellas on the pitch at the end of the game that just didn't all believe that we were good enough to win.

ST PATRICK'S DAY, 1998

We dominated Crossmaglen. Crossmaglen couldn't even celebrate after that win because, as they were such a good side, they wanted to win the All-Ireland with a little bit to spare. They certainly didn't want to be dominated like we dominated them. I think they beat us 0-11 to 0-10. We kicked 19 wides, and they took the lead for the first time going into injury time. We just hit the post, hit the crossbar, kicked balls marginally wide, just couldn't do it.

We went 0-6 to 0-1 up in the first 20 minutes, and then were four up at half-time. With their experience, they just kept grinding away. We kept kicking wides and the more wides we kicked the worse it got for our forwards. We ended up losing by a point. It would have been great if we had got a draw that day and got them in a replay. But it wasn't to be.

LAST GAME FOR MAYO

My last game for Mayo would have been when I came on as a sub in 1999 against Cork. Cork beat us by six points in that semi-final. That was the end. I came back the following year to go again. I was in fairly good shape and the body was holding up. Pat Holmes had taken over as manager, and Holmesy is a great mate of mine. We had played U21 and senior together and this was the first manager who came to me and said, listen you're too old to play basketball and football, we want you to make a decision.

So I said to Holmesy, I wish you the best of luck with the management and that was it, I was gone then at that stage. I had no problem with him saying it, I was probably 34 or 35 at the time and I'm sure he had sat down with his management team and discussed this issue and in fairness, he came up to me and it wasn't anything devious. He just told me how he felt, the concerns that they had and I said, I'm not going to give up the basketball. So that was the end of it.

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The Liam McHale All-Ireland Legends Tour is on this Saturday, September 22, at 12.30pm at Croke Park.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Click here for more information.




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