Thursday 23 March 2017

Páraic Duffly blasts 'lazy headline-seeking commentary' over Diarmuid Connolly decision

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly tussle in an incident which eventually saw Connolly sent off
Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly tussle in an incident which eventually saw Connolly sent off

GAA director-general Paraic Duffy has also robustly defended the GAA's disciplinary process in the light of sanctions imposed in high profile cases failing to stick, especially at the business end of the championship.

It follows the setting aside of a one-match ban for Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly by the Disputes Resolution Authority after he was sent off in last year's drawn All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo.

Mayo's Kevin Keane also had a one-match ban rescinded by CHC after his dismissal against Donegal in an All-Ireland quarter-final.

But while expressing surprise at the Connolly decision Duffy insisted the system is fine.

"For my part I do not believe that there is any fundamental weakness in our disciplinary structures," he writes.

"I may have been surprised by the decisions announced in the specific cases mentioned, just as I have been often surprised, as we all have been by decisions made by disciplinary bodies outside of the GAA and even by the courts.

"But we are surprised in these cases only because we are privy to the debate or to considerations taken into account in reaching a decision. And sometimes, too, decision-makers, as fallible human beings, will just get it wrong."

He also wonders if the same furore would have applied if it had been another player apart from Connolly.

"Commentators were entitled to question the DRA decision in respect of Diarmuid Connolly to have penalties, although one wonders if the outcry would have been as great if the players was someone other than Diarmuid Connolly but it was otherwise lazy headline-seeking commentary to use this to suggest that our disciplinary structures are not fit for purpose."  

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