Monday 26 September 2016

'The Players have spoken and are keen to move on...'

Published 12/07/2015 | 13:00

"It’s very unfortunate for Davey, but as I said, he’s spoken with the Armagh player. They had a good frank discussion and both of them are keen to concentrate on the future."

Newstalk presenter Colm Parkinson interviewed Dublin manager Jim Gavin (pictured) last week and asked a series of questions about the incident which put Davey Byrne in hospital. The interview lasted just over five minutes and the following is a transcription of it:

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Colm Parkinson: Yeah Jim, before we talk about the game, I suppose I want to ask you about the Davey Byrne issue. He received pretty nasty injuries, from my sources, he has a closed eye, a broken nose, 10 stitches on his forehead, those kind of injuries in a football game are not acceptable.

Jim Gavin: Yeah . . . regrettably an incident took place before our recent challenge game against Armagh and disappointingly for both management teams - I think discipline would be a core philosophy of both Kieran (McGeeney) and mine - but subsequent to the game, both players have spoken to each other. They regret what happened and both are now just concentrating on their inter-county careers and trying to get back in their county jerseys.

CP: What benefit is there for Davey after suffering the injuries? The Armagh player, from what we hear, there's nothing wrong with him. What benefit is there for Davey to just leave this go? He spent two nights in hospital.

JG: Yes, it's very unfortunate for Davey, but as I said, he's spoken with the Armagh player. They had a good frank discussion and both of them are keen to concentrate on the future . . . for themselves . . .

CP: Because this has obviously been made public and got out there, why hasn't Dublin County Board, and even yourself, come down hard on this because incidents like this can't really happen?

JG: Yeah, we've obviously spoken to the county board . . . but we're . . . we've spoken to the player and the players have spoken with each other and, eh, em, they regret what happened, they've had a frank discussion with each other and both of them are keen to now focus on getting back their county jerseys.

CP: I think when incidents like this occur - and I've often played challenge matches and it's almost like all bets are off . . . you can get away with things in challenge games that you might not get away with in a championship game. The referee doesn't put it in, you're okay for the next days lads . . . do you think this kind of omerta and the fact that this is kind of being brushed is helpful?

JG: It's a very regrettable incident. It shouldn't have happened. It's not part of our game. But, as I said, both players have spoken to each other after the game. They had a very frank discussion and they both regret what happened and they want to now concentrate on getting their county jerseys back.

CP: Just one last one on this: do you think Dublin's silence on this is almost implicating Davey as being just as guilty as the Armagh player? You know, you haven't exactly come out defending him.

JG: We've had a good chat with Davey. We've given him . . . the county board have given him every support that is possible . . .

CP: But publicly, Jim . . .

JG: . . . We've spoken to Davey on the matter and, em, you know, until . . . he was satisfied with the way the process was going. We've a duty of care to him, em, he's spoken to the Armagh player, they had a frank discussion and they regret what happened and they want to now move on and focus on their county careers.

CP: Was the match videoed?

JG: Eh, the match was videoed, yeah.

CP: Okay, and is that being released to the GAA because I know unless they see a video or receive a complaint from the player, they can't really follow anything?

JG: Yeah, as I said, both players, both players, em both players, eh, have spoken after the game . . .

CP: I know that. I know that. But is the video going to be sent into Croke Park, so they can properly investigate it?

JG: That I don't know.

CP: Okay. [pause] As a GAA man and considering the injuries that he received, do you think it should be?

JG: You know it's regrettable what happened in the game. It shouldn't have happened. It's not part of our game. And, eh, both players have spoken to each other. They regret what happened. And they want to move on now and focus on their game.

CP: Knowing you, from talking after games, even I talked to you before about cynical fouling, like I know you're a gentleman, I know that's the way you played the game, so how disappointed are you with this happening before the throw-in?

JG: Yeah, I was disappointed. Particularly as the game afterwards was played in a very spirited manner, there was some great moves . . .

CP: Sorry, there was a free-for-all, my sources tell me, after that and a good few players got involved, after the initial assault.

JG: Players moved into the pitch, but the game was quickly moved on and within minutes afterwards, the ball was thrown in. It was a very good game. We got a lot out of it, Armagh got a lot out of it. There was some defensive displays on both sides, some great scores, so all told, it was a very unfortunate incident that happened, you know it is very regrettable, it's not part of our game, we don't want it part of our game, I certainly know from speaking to Kieran afterwards, it's not part of his philosophy either. So as I said, both players have spoken to each other, very frank discussion and they want to move on now.

CP: Why would the referee not put it in his report? Did you speak to him, and Kieran speak to him, after the game?

JG: No, we didn't, no.

CP: He just chose not to include it in his report?

JG: That I don't know.

CP: It's not in his report.

JG: That I don't know.

CP: No, it's definitely not, I've found that out.

JG: I don't have that information.

CP: Okay. Thanks very much Jim.

JG: Cheers Wooly.

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