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20 years on from Saipan: Nothing black and white in published accounts of showdown

Alan Kelly’s laptop may one day deliver the definitive account but those who committed their versions to print certainly had different versions of events

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Roy Keane is sent off after a challenge on Jason McAteer in 2002. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Roy Keane is sent off after a challenge on Jason McAteer in 2002. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

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Published accounts of Saipan fallout

Published accounts of Saipan fallout

Roy Keane at Dublin Airport prior to the team's departure to their training camp in Saipan. Photo: Ray McManus

Roy Keane at Dublin Airport prior to the team's departure to their training camp in Saipan. Photo: Ray McManus

SPORTSFILE

At the press conference to announce the departure of Roy Keane were Mick McCarthy (centre) with players Alan Kelly and Niall Quinn (left) and FAI President Milo Corcoran (right). Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

At the press conference to announce the departure of Roy Keane were Mick McCarthy (centre) with players Alan Kelly and Niall Quinn (left) and FAI President Milo Corcoran (right). Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy. Picture by David Maher

Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy. Picture by David Maher

©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Roy Keane departs from Saipan International Airport on May 24, 2002. Photo: David Maher

Roy Keane departs from Saipan International Airport on May 24, 2002. Photo: David Maher

Honorary Treasurer of the FAI John Delaney during a press conference to confirm Roy Keane's departure. Photo: Damien Eagers/Sportsfile

Honorary Treasurer of the FAI John Delaney during a press conference to confirm Roy Keane's departure. Photo: Damien Eagers/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

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Roy Keane is sent off after a challenge on Jason McAteer in 2002. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Dean Kiely’s quip to Mick McCarthy, right after Roy Keane had left the room following one of the most controversial and influential team meetings in Irish sport, is one of the most famous jokes in Irish football history.

But, to underline the difficulty in making sense of Saipan and knowing who said what to who, even now after two decades, there is no definitive version of what Kiely said.


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