apology issued | 

GAA commentator says ‘hot mic’ comments about female footballer were taken out of context

There’s somebody making trouble for me, there’s no doubt about that.”

Eugene MastersonSunday World

A GAA commentator claims comments he made off-air but caught on microphone about a female footballer were “taken totally out of context”.

Social media was deluged with a video clip of Seamus Duke’s off-air comments during a local ladies GAA club match in Co Roscommon.

In part of the audio, Seamus can be heard during the interval in the game saying some of the play was “dire”. He then name-checked one of the players and says: “if you took ***** **** out of the equation… she’s like a man, like a man”.

A crestfallen Seamus told the Sunday Worldthat his remarks were made to highlight that the player in question was just as good as any male player.

“It was taken totally out of context,” Seamus told us. “What I said was that she was better than any of the lads that I had seen over the last few weeks, that was the context of it.

“I also wrote a report for the Roscommon People newspaper which said she was by far the best player on the field and gave her player of the match.

“I was talking to the girl herself last night and I said ‘look it, if there’s any offence, I absolutely and totally apologise but there certainly wasn’t any meaning in it or anything in it like that’ and she totally accepted it. She thanked me for apologising.”

Seamus added: “It’s a pity that the recorder wasn’t left on longer, because I said ‘she’s as good as any of the lads that I had seen over the last few days’ and it’s as simple as that.”

He added that “there is somebody out there causing trouble for me definitely, who doesn’t like me.”

GAA sources across the country confirm Seamus is a highly regarded commentator and is “a legend in Roscommon”.

“I tell you, my record is there over the last 30 or 40 years,” Seamus added. “I would be horrified by any suggestion.

“I rang that girl last night and I spoke to her for about 15 or 20 minutes to her. She said a number of people had said it to her.

“I have four daughters myself. There is somebody who is making fierce trouble for me. Somebody who obviously doesn’t like me for some reason.”

Seamus, who is an author and manager at Roscommon FM, also addressed other remarks made on social media in the wake of the incident as “total lies”.

A local person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the validity of his account.

“It’s all being blown out of proportion and I don’t see how it’s that important,” said Seamus.

“It doesn’t sound great, but it was taken out of context. There’s somebody making trouble for me, there’s no doubt about that.”

Seamus Duke GAA commentator

One Roscommon businessman familiar with the background to the furore in the county said Seamus “is a decent man”.

“About 50 people have pinged me on the video,” said the businessman.

“There’s lot of other stuff going around on social media that’s complete lies.

“It’s absolute rubbish and I don’t know how it’s got out of control.”

He added: “I know as a person there’s not an ounce of badness in Seamus, not an ounce in this man.

“He’s a nice, quiet, soft gentleman who’s greatly respected.”

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