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Mick McCarthy Reveals He Had Secret Meeting With Roy Keane In Aftermath Of Saipan

By James Fenton

May 18, 2018 at 10:03am


It's summer 2002, Irish boy-girl group Six are dominating the charts and the nation has been struck down with World Cup fever. Then, civil war erupts. 

Up until that point, paradise Pacific island Saipan was mostly known for its white sands and beautiful landscape but these days it's mostly associated with the most controversial moment in Irish sporting history. 

People were on the edge of their seats when word emerged that Republic Of Ireland captain Roy Keane had fallen out with manager Mick McCarthy and the country was split down the middle when the gaffer finally had enough and told Keane that his services wouldn't be required in Japan and Korea. Kids and adults cried, many backed Mick and millions tuned into the Six One news to get Roy's point of view in an explosive interview with Tommy Gorman (below). 

Now, 16 years on it might be time for the nation to leave it all behind us but according to McCarthy, himself and Roy drew a line in the sand four years after the incident. The former Ireland manager was now in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Corkman was in the dugout for Sunderland when the two clubs collided to much media attention back in 2006. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mick has now confirmed that the pair met up in the build-up to the game to saying: 

"I thought it was gonna be a circus so I decided to blow everybody out of the water. 

"I rang him up and said, "Listen, we can either be part of the circus or we can get together and have a chat and shake hands privately. We will p*** on everybody's chips"".

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McCarthy is now out of work after parting with Ipswich Town recently and Keane remains assistant manager to Martin O'Neill in the Republic Of Ireland set-up. While no one expects them to be best pals, it's nice to see two of Ireland's sporting heroes can at least remain civil to each other despite their volatile history. 

A lesson to us all. 

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