April 23, 2024

Saipan Incident – Methodology

In order to be as objective and dispassionate as possible I attempted to approach my Saipan project in a somewhat forensic manner. More elemental and prosaic than elegant prose perhaps, but hopefully more revealing than previous analyses. By comparing and contrasting the various accounts of the events in Saipan, and subsequent pronouncements, I hoped to get to the real root of why and how the Saipan incident occurred, and who should take the blame.

Because Roy Keane is the central figure in the Saipan affair I used his book, Keane: The Autobiography as my jumping off point. My reasoning was that so much of what is germane to the events in Saipan occurred behind the closed door of hotel room 758 and within the confines of his mind. I also attached a lot of significance to the two interviews Roy Keane gave, to Tom Humphries of the Irish Times and to Paul Kimmage of the Sunday Independent, before the row that occurred during that infamous team meeting. Another key piece of research material was the Tommie Gorman interview on RTE television – his first post-Saipan TV interview.

For his perspective on the Saipan incident I also used the Republic of Ireland soccer manager’s book, Mick McCarthy: Ireland’s World Cup 2002 as a further primary source. Jason McAteer’s Saipan Diary serialised in the Irish Independent was a valuable contemporaneous account of some of the events in in Saipan and Niall Quinn’s version of the Saipan incident in Niall Quinn: The Autobiography was also extremely useful. Matt Holland’s column in The Independent (UK) was further eyewitness account that proved illuminating up to a point. There were also a number of other books and extensive newspaper coverage that was also useful.

After a quick run through these primary sources I was convinced that the answers that I sought would be largely found within the pages in Roy Keane’s autobiography. Short of forging a Vulcan mind-meld with the Corkman this was going to be the nearest that I would get to the truth behind the causes of the Saipan affair.

I had to exercise care though, because Keane’s ghost-writer for the autobiography was Eamon Dunphy. Having witnessed Dunphy’s soccer punditry on RTE television, listened to him on the radio, and read his various columns over two decades I was fully aware that his often strongly held views were not always the most objective nor were they always soundly based. I wanted to be sure that I was getting Keane’s views and not Dunphy’s.

Despite the fact that there is clear evidence of Dunphy’s cerebral prints throughout the book I was reassured to discover, in the course of my research, that Keane was significantly involved in the writing process. I revisited Keane’s autobiography with my microscope more acutely focussed.

The autobiography is not written in a strict chronological order and nor is it particularly coherent in the way the facts are presented. In order to follow a particular thread, such as Keane’s career with the Republic of Ireland, it required reading the book from cover to cover. Then when I wanted to follow another theme, such as Keane’s relationship with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, I had to pretty much go through the entire book again. Admittedly the index was helpful but still the Keane / Dunphy style meant I had to read the biography several times. This was no bad thing as each reading threw up new information or threw new light on some issues.

Almost inevitably I was compelled to take in other reference material for corroborative or contradictory purposes. There were a number of books written about the Saipan incident and Roy Keane that also proved to be rich sources of material. The internet also proved to be invaluable. A wide range of newspapers and online publications have covered Saipan, Roy Keane and related areas. It was also extremely helpful to be able to view interviews and specific events on media websites and YouTube. I have listed all my sources, both online and off-line in my Saipan Bibliography, and where relevant I have integrated video clips into the appropriate sections of my analysis.

Finally I contacted all of the main protagonists in the Saipan incident with my conclusions to give them an opportunity to contribute, clarify or contradict my assertions and Saipan conclusions. Where relevant I have taken such views on board and / or referenced and noted such views

Saipan Incident Backdrop

Back to Saipan Affair Table of Contents – Irish Football

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Saipan Table of Contents Roy Keane & Eamon Dunphy
Saipan Introduction Roy Keane & Cork
Methodology Keane’s Aversion to Being Away From Home
Saipan Conclusions Roy Keane’s Relationship with Ireland
Roy Keane – Mick McCarthy Relationship Roy Keane – Zenith Data Systems Cup
Roy Keane Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Jack Charlton Relationship
Mick McCarthy Version of Saipan Incident 1 Roy Keane’s Flawed Character
Mick McCarthy Version of Saipan Incident 2 Roy Keane’s Good Character
Niall Quinn Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Footballer
Jason McAteer Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Team Captain
Matt Holland Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Family Man
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Backdrop Roy Keane & Faking Injury
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Issues Roy Keane – Bad Boy
Keane / McCarthy Boston Row 1992 Roy Keane – Career Lows
Keane Misses Iran Playoff Game Roy Keane – Red Cards etc
Keane Misses Niall Quinn Testimonial Roy Keane – Cruciate Injury
Countdown to Saipan Incident Roy Keane & Alf-Inge Haaland
Roy Keane Saipan Tirade at Mick McCarthy Roy Keane & Gareth Southgate Red Card
Roy Keane / Tom Humphries Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Alan Shearer Red Card
Keane / Humphries Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane / Alex Ferguson Relationship 1
Roy Keane / Irish Times Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Sir Alex Ferguson 2
Roy Keane / Paul Kimmage Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Charity
Keane / Kimmage Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane & Autobiography Contradictions 1
Roy Keane / Sunday Independent Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Contradictions 2
Roy Keane / Tommie Gorman Interview 1 Roy Keane – Integrity
Roy Keane / Tommy Gorman Interview 2 Roy Keane – International Matches
Roy Keane / RTE Interview 3 Roy Keane – Football Record
FAI Involvement in Saipan Affair Roy Keane & Sandwiches
Saipan Reaction of Irish Players Roy Keane – Walker
Mick McCarthy – ‘crap player, crap manager’ Saipan – Pacific Island
Roy Keane / Mick McCarthy Playing Record I Keano – The Musical
Colin Healy – Forgotten Man of Saipan Roy Keane – Football Manager
Saipan Ten Years Later Roy Keane’s Dog Triggs
Roy Keane’s Autobiography Saipan Bibiliography


Roy Keane – View Seven Years After Saipan
Football Quotes about Saipan
Triggs – The Autobiography of Roy Keane’s Dog
Ireland at 2002 World Cup Finals – Irish 2002 World Cup Squad – Irish Group Matches
Ireland V Cameroon – Ireland V Germany – Ireland V Saudi Arabia – Ireland V Spain