Monday 16 January 2017

Connolly saga no distraction, say Dublin

Published 06/09/2015 | 02:30

Dublin manager Jim Gavin: 'I thought the DRA were very facilitating. Obviously the time was compressing coming up to the game and I thought anybody we engaged in the process made themselves available for late hours. We can only be grateful for that'
Dublin manager Jim Gavin: 'I thought the DRA were very facilitating. Obviously the time was compressing coming up to the game and I thought anybody we engaged in the process made themselves available for late hours. We can only be grateful for that'

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has revealed that he had no hesitation in starting Diarmuid Connolly against Mayo despite the tumultuous week the St Vincent's man endured.

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Gavin confirmed that Connolly was present for a "good part" of the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) hearing that started at 7.30pm on Friday and ran until 2.30am yesterday morning to round off a week of late-night appeals.

Having been sent off in the drawn game, Connolly was eventually cleared to line out against Mayo and played for 68 minutes before being replaced.

And he defended the decision to pursue the case to the highest authority. Gavin said: "We just engaged with the process, it's there for us, it's there for any team to use and that's what we did. We took advice from the administrators of the Dublin County Board and they supported us all the way."

The Dublin boss refused to criticise the process that saw one of his star performers granted a reprieve just hours before the game was due to start. He added: "I thought the DRA were very facilitating. Obviously the time was compressing coming up to the game and I thought anybody we engaged in the process made themselves available for late hours. We can only be grateful for that."

And he insisted the furore had minimal impact on his side's preparations.

He added: "I'd say of all the county teams the Dublin players are used to a lot of external stuff going on. So they are quite accustomed to those external distractions and they are quite good at getting into a performance bubble and blocking it out."

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