Fermanagh player hits out at those who criticised the team for embracing fans after All-Ireland championship exit

Fermanagh lost out to Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final

Fermanagh player hits out at those who criticised the team for embracing fans after All-Ireland championship exit

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Following Fermanagh's defeat to eventual All-Ireland champions Dublin in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final, the squad and backroom staff walked around the pitch to thank the fans for following them throughout the campaign.

The moment was meant to represent a gesture of solidarity and gratitude for the 60,000 strong who travelled to the capital for the game. But in the subsequent days, it was clear that pundits and other media folk interpreted it as a kind of celebration which former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness felt was a reflection of the 'culture of mediocrity.'

But Fermanagh defender Tiarnan Daly, has since come out in defence of his team and stresses that their actions were not a glorification of failure.

'It wasn’t really celebrations. It was more respect for the fans that had followed us from the very beginning. We had a great turnout from them and it was a recognition of them more than anything.'

Daly went on to explain that Fermanagh had not enjoyed such an extensive run in the Championship since their prosperous days in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The team therefore, felt it was appropriate to recognise their achievement with their loyal followers.

'Your season finishes with your county when you lose in the All-Ireland championship and that was the quarter-finals for us. It had been a long time since we had been there before. It was right that we could hold our heads high and that we gave a good representations of ourselves and our county and our families.'

'Maybe I thought it was a little bit unjust they way we were treated because we didn’t do anything wrong. Of course you are disappointed. I was very disappointed and you never want to go out to any game and lose. When you got that sort of flak you just think, ‘What was the point of that?’ That was a bit harsh in my opinion that it was deemed we were celebrating our loss which it wasn’t. We were celebrating a phenomenal year we had.”