Saturday 19 August 2017

Jim Gavin reveals why the Dublin panel have refused to partake in one-on-one interviews with broadcasters

Dublin football manager Jim Gavin in attendance at the Leinster GAA Senior Hurling and Football Championships 2017 Launch in Pearse Museum, Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Dublin football manager Jim Gavin in attendance at the Leinster GAA Senior Hurling and Football Championships 2017 Launch in Pearse Museum, Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Jack O'Toole

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has said that RTE and Sky Sports analysis of Diarmuid Connolly's push on linesman Ciaran Branagan earlier this month was the reason behind the Dublin panel's refusal to participate in post-match interviews with broadcasters after the Westmeath game.

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 the Dublin panel declining requests for broadcast interviews on the grounds that they were unhappy with the coverage of Connolly's 12-week suspension.

Gavin said that Connolly had his good name attacked by The Sunday Game pundits Pat Spillane and Colm O'Rourke, and that if the Dublin management team had decided to appeal Connolly's case to the Central Hearings Committee, the Central Competitions Control Committee suspension would not have been upheld.

"What concerned me was the way I suppose his good name was attacked before we even saw the referee's report." Gavin told FM 104 after the game.

"We had the national broadcaster in their post-match review - both Pat Spillane and Colm O'Rourke - but particularly Pat - read out a predetermined statement.

"We saw on Sky Sports the rulebook being read out against him. Supporters come to me and ask me 'what's going on?' And 'why is this unbalance happening?' And I'm really struggling to give them a balanced and proportionate answer.

"It was my decision to pursue with the CHC (Central Hearings Committee), to get their opinion on it, and we've received advice from senior counsel that if this went to arbitration the case wouldn't hold.

"But Diarmuid didn't want that to happen. He just wanted to move on, and in the best interest of the team, that's what he decided to do.

"Within 24 hours, even before the referees report was signed off, there was I suppose, not a media campaign, but it got a lot of traction in the media, and as I said I think his good name was, more importantly, the right that he has as an individual  in the republic, I think his good name was certainly attacked. That's for sure."

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