Lance Armstrong, the multi Tour de France champion and confessed drug cheat, told Oprah Winfrey during one of the breaks on her show that his main reason for throwing all sorts of dope into his blood stream was to dull the pain of seeing Carrickmore winning a rake of O’Neill Cups since 1995. A self-confessed Killyclogher fan, Armstrong admitted that he only stumbled across the athletic boost the drugs gave him after going out for a ride soon after the Carmen beat Moortown in the 1995 final. A secret camera caught the following conversation whilst the two American heavyweights tore into a pot of tea and digestive biscuits:
“Ah Oprah, it was some handlin. All I wanted to do was to kill the abject depression I was feeling when the news would filter through that Carrickmore had lifted another county title. And this was the pre-Block Gormley days even. I used to down a bottle of Powers but soon hit the harder stuff like EPO and blood transfusions – anything to take my mind off them hoors celebrating well into the night thinking they were deadly, like. It was only when I went out for a spin on the Grifter that I experienced the advantage that stuff gave me. When they beat Killyclogher in the ’99 final I bucked the whole lot into me and hey presto, the Tour de France was a doddle. It was a double-edged sword, Winfrey.”
Killyclogher’s defeat of Errigal in ’03 saw a dip in Armstrong’s form and he soon announced his retirement from professional cycling due to the lack of need for the dope. A double for the Carmen in ’04 and ’05 changed everything.
“Just when I thought I’d gotten away with it all and Killyclogher were top dogs, didn’t St Colmcille’s lift the next two. That set me back and I was transfusing anything that was humanly possible. Even shite. I was off the wagon big time and hence lifted another two Tours. Only for that double I’d never have been caught. That wee Brian Gormley bollocks has brought me here, Oprah.”
Winfrey seemed uninterested and just told him he should never underestimate the Carmen and that she was a bit of a Trillick woman herself.