Wednesday 18 October 2017

Dublin refuse to do one-on-one interviews with broadcasters 'over handling of Diarmuid Connolly suspension'

Dublin manager Jim Gavin ahead of the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin ahead of the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Jack O'Toole

Jim Gavin and the Dublin team have opted not to talk to broadcast media in one-on-one interviews after the Dublin panel were unhappy with the television coverage surrounding the Diarmuid Connolly suspension.

Gavin, his backroom staff and the Dublin players opted not to partake in any television interviews after their 31-point blowout win over Westmeath on Sunday, with RTE's Marty Morrissey revealing that the Dublin panel declined their request for an interview on the grounds that they were unhappy with the coverage of Connolly's 12-week suspension for making minor physical interference with linesman Ciaran Branagan during Dublin's Leinster quarter-final win over Carlow earlier this month.

Instead of interviewing Gavin or any of his players after the game, Morrissey instead interviewed RTE co-commentator Kevin Cassidy, who said that he can't see the benefits of Gavin and company declining television interviews.

"I am [surprised] to be honest," Cassidy told RTE Six One News.

"I suppose the incident was fairly black and white. The severity of the punishment lies in the hands of Croke Park.

"I can't see the benefits to the Dublin backroom team or squads by doing this. I am a little bit disappointed."

Dublin's 31-point win eclipsed their previous two championship wins over Westmeath with Sunday's victory surpassing the accumulated 28-point winning margin that Gavin's side boasted en route to winning the 2015 and 2016 Leinster Senior Football Championships.

Cassidy said that Dublin were looking to take out their vengeance on Westmeath and that Kildare will now be under no illusion about what they will face in next month's Leinster final.

"Dublin came here to make a statement," added Cassidy.

"There was rumblings that Dublin were not good as they were and they weren't good against Carlow. But that was a real statement.

"To any Kildare team that thinks they can waltz through that, well they have another thing coming."

This is not the first time a manager has refused to engage in a post-match interview with a broadcaster. Tyrone boss Mickey Harte hasn't spoken to RTE since 2011 after details of a letter sent to the Irish broadcaster were leaked to the Press.

RTE subsequently had to apologise to him following a hugely insensitive radio sketch about the death of his daughter Michaela.

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