WATCH – Social media users condemn Noel King’s ‘lack of respect’ to Ireland star Aine O’Gorman on RTE coverage

Ireland under-21s pulled off a dramatic last-minute win at home to Sweden to get their European Championships prospects back on track.

Ollie O’Neill scored with virtually the last kick of the game as Jim Crawford’s side ended a two-game losing streak to beat the group leaders.

It wasn’t the only thing that had fans talking after the game as an exchange between RTÉ’s two on-pitch pundits, Noel King and Áine O’Gorman, drew less positive attention.

King had seen his Shelbourne side crowned Women’s National League champions on Saturday night after Peamount, captained by O’Gorman, lost 5-2 to Galway.

Peas, who were going for a record third title in a row, led 2-0 early on, a scoreline that would have seen them to the title regardless of Shels’ result against Wexford Youths.

Viewers took issue with one pre-match exchange between the pair when 65-year-old King appeared to goad the Irish international.

Asked for his reaction by RTÉ presenter Joanne Cantwell, King said: “Ciarán [King, Noel’s son] turned to me to say it was 2-0 and that was the end of it.

“Then suddenly the messages started coming through: one goal, two goals, three goals… how many did it finish Áine?”

One social media user said: “Aine O’Gorman couldn’t have responded to that better than she did. I know it was only meant as a joke, but I 100% would’ve bit given half the chance.”

Another said: “Very well handled by Áine O’Gorman. Showed real dignity. Odious behaviour from Noel King.”

The bleak assessment from another user summed up the views of many on the platform: “One thing worse than a sore loser.”

Noel King and Áine O'Gorman were paired on RTÉ's coverage of Ireland men's under-21s against Sweden on Tuesday
Noel King and Áine O’Gorman were paired on RTÉ’s coverage of Ireland men’s under-21s against Sweden on Tuesday

Another added: “Serious lack of respect for an opponent there. Not a chance he says that to a male opponent three days after winning title.

“I’d say his team are cringing at that comment as they respect their opposition too much to say something like that on national TV.”

King and O’Gorman are well-acquainted from the former’s time as the manager of women’s national team from 2000-2010 and he continued to be an employee of the FAI.

The Dubliner was manager when O’Gorman made her debut in 2006 and she has since gone on to win a total of 114 caps and counting.

When the WNT threatened to take strike action in 2017 over working conditions, including being required to change out of tracksuits in the airport, King was a vocal opponent.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, King described claims that the players were mistreated were ‘outrageous’ and ‘completely false.’

King boasted he and John Delaney had come up with a plan in 2000 to ‘offer equality’ and said the investment in the team, who were unpaid, had investment ‘on a par’ with the men.

One Shelbourne fan referenced the above, saying: “This is pretty gross mocking from my own team’s boss given the history.”

Another social media user said: “RTE can you not get somebody respectful and from this century please? No more of this.”

Shelbourne face Wexford Youths in the FAI Cup final at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday evening, live on RTÉ2.

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