The Rossies – don’t you just love beating them

Roscommon supportersTHE day I get sick of Mayo beating Roscommon is the day I lose my lust for life. You cannot beat them enough! And by the same token there’s no one more insufferable to lose to either.

We probably should hate Galway more than we hate the Rossies but there’s an acknowledgement of Galway’s pedigree and a cursory nod to their footballing principles. But Roscommon bring out a different animal in us altogether.

We are regarded as good losers (no spot prizes for the first wag to say we get enough practice) but Roscommon is the exception. We cannot abide it. Even in the FBD league, there is never a good time to lose to the Rossies.

Why is this? Its not as if Roscommon have visited despair on us all the time – we certainly have the upper hand on them. And its not as we’re driven by jealousy at their success – again Galway would be the target here.

No I think the hatred we reserve for the Rossies is for one very simple reason – their supporters. At the risk of being racist I don’t know of any more obnoxious or ignorant group of GAA people in the country than Rossie supporters! I know not of any other county whose supporters so personally abuse opposition players.

I don’t know any other county supporters who so vigoursly fling insults at opposition supporters. Not witty remarks mind, but highly personal and rude stuff.

I’ve seen it time and time again at Mayo Roscommon matches for it not to be a few isolated incidents. But I recall especially one incident that sums up a lot of it. It was at the infamous (for Mayo) 2001 Connacht final when Eddie Lohan scored that late, late goal after David Nestor looked to have stolen success for us with a goal a minute before.

Our group had been jubilant when that Nestor goal went in. Not gloating, just cheering. Then Lohan hit the killer goal and a family of a wife and husband and a son and daughter, neither of whom were even teenagers, turned around and used what should have been their own time for celebration to hurl insults at us.

‘Take that ye c****’ and ‘shove that up your h***’ and ‘go home to f*** now ye boggers with yer tails between yer legs’. We were stupified.

And, let’s be fair, its not every Rossie who acts like this. And every county has a few clowns or yahoos who engage in this behaviour. But, per capita, Roscommon certainly have more of this ilk of ‘supporter’ than anywhere else. Customers, as Johnny Maughan would call them.

Certaily publicans in Castlebar this weekend will welcome the custom that Saturday’s game will bring but they’d much rather to be hosting Galway supporters than Rossies because the Rossies have been known to create more trouble than any other supporters. 

And then there’s  Ballaghaderreen, which the Rossie supporters spend all day and night moaning about. A town historically in Mayo and moved into Roscommon for reasons of rates cuts and the people of Ballaghaderreen’s insistance on remaining in Mayo GAA since is something the Rossies cannot understand. I wouldn’t blame the Ballaghs for waiting in Mayo GAA either!

I’m sure to the untrained eye this looks like a crazy, paranoid rant. But it is not something only I feel. Ask any Mayo supporter of their thoughts on Rossies and most will concur with me.

All that being said life would be dull without them. Intense rivalry is a great part of sport. The Rossies would, grudingly, say the same about us. I wonder why they hate us. And I wonder is it just for us that such scorn is reserved? Come what may there’s no doubting that Mayo Roscommon clashes evoke the best and worst of both counties.

All of which makes defeat on Saturday unthinkable. Unfortunately though, impossible it is not.

We plan to disect most angles possible about Saturday during the week. We just said we’d start with the most stand-out – both counties sheer hatred of each other!

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9 Responses to “The Rossies – don’t you just love beating them”


  1. 1 Ballagh Man June 15, 2009 at 12:50 am

    A lot of generalisations there. As a Ballaghaderreen man – and not a blow-in either- I will be supporting my native county Roscommon on Sunday. And many more Ballagh people will do the very same thing. I will tell you what is obnoxious and ignortant – when Mayo GAA men blocked a Ballagh ladies football team from training in a community ground because they had the audacity to affiliate with Roscommon. Imagine that – grown men blocking young girls from training because they could not abide Ballagh people playing with their native county. Now that’s what I call bitter.

  2. 2 JJ June 15, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Mayo fans are the most arrogant I have ever met, they think they are Kerry, but without the silverware. They are one of the few sides I know that abuse their own players as much as the opposition players. I remember being at a match against Mayo, and the opposing team scored a goal, a Mayo fan aged at least 50 started shoving the opposing (teenage) fans in front of him and throwing his toys out of the pram, all because the other team had the nerve to score a goal against his beloved Kerry, sorry I meant Mayo, sure Kerry would never get hammered every year at Croke Park.

  3. 3 John Ryan June 15, 2009 at 8:35 am

    That is the singularly worst piece of backward, miopic, incorrect, speculative garbage I have had the mispleasure of reading in a long long time. I have attended plenty of Mayo and Roscommon games over the last 2 decades and most of what you talk of about is just crap. Absolutely pathetic piece of writing. And this is from a life long Mayo fan. I have heard plenty of stories from my Roscommon friends of having their cars spat at and being abused as they drove back home from Castlebar in towns like Charlestown and Ballaghaderreen over the years. If even half of the alleged things above happened you can be sure that for every abusive Roscommon fan there is an opposite number in the Mayo fans who is equally abusive. You seem to forget the abuse our own fans hurled at Conor Mortimer, Ciaran McDonald, John Maughan to name a few in the not too distant past. It was disgraceful and at our own fellow county men. Get over yourself, we are no angels either.

  4. 4 Rossie 1 June 15, 2009 at 8:40 am

    For me, its goes back to the ultra cool Liam McHale days with the collar up and swagger the air of superiority. And then the ultimate crime that will not be forgiven – shafting us with John Maughan which set back Roscommon football for half a decade. But as you said, life would be dull without each other !

  5. 5 Sligo boy June 15, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Dont no where ur gettin that rubbish from im a sligo supporter and we always love playing ros it always guarantees good craic and gud spirited rivalry. i hope they beat yee no need to be spouting so much shite. its the likes of u that will make GAA like soccer where supporters hate each other.

    PS I drive through ros daily on the N5 every time yee were n all Ireland finals the rossies supported yee by putting out flags.

  6. 6 JJ June 16, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I always sense fear with Mayo, they fear being beaten but the likes of Sligo and Roscommon. Because they consider these counties to be below them. This fear can manifest itself in anger, obnoxiousness, or just simple name calling. But that fear is always there. I think it comes down to the fact that Mayo think they are Kingpins of the GAA, but they are not. At least the likes of Sligo and Ros realise they are not, but they are trying to improve their game. Maybe if Mayo realised this, they would not be so angry. A bit of humilty would not go a miss lads. It is ok to get beaten by other weak counties now and again.

  7. 7 Harry June 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I was wondering why some Rossies hate Mayo. Now I have seen the other side of the Coin. Not all Mayomen should be tarnished with the same brush, I should add. Roscommon have always supported Mayo in croke park. After reading this article, I really hope Roscommon can pull off a shock win!!

  8. 8 Bannerbabe June 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    You got it in one. Bang on. We treat Galway with the reverance they command. You should have seen the Rossies in Ennis for the Minor final replay a couple of years ago. It seems 3 or 4 cars parked out at the Auburn Lodge (probably on the lash) with the car flags, what do the rest do? start parking back from the Auburn and running the 2 miles or so to Cusack park roaring like lunatics. Their was tons of parking space closer to the pitch.
    The difference betwen the Rossies that day and our gang a couple of years previous for the u21 final was stunning. Just as well they don’t get out too often.

  9. 9 spectator June 17, 2009 at 9:57 am

    While it\’s certainly tongue-in-cheek at times, this article goes beyond bantering and says more about the the writer than it does about the Rossies themselves. Words like \”hatred\” \”racist\” \”ignorant\” and \”obnoxious\” are not descriptions anyone likes to see bloggers associating with the GAA. Coming from the supporter of a county where a tiny minority of followers attempted to establish a so called \”Mayo Firm\” several years ago, they are particularly disappointing and irresponsible.


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