GAA ard stiúrthóir Páraic Duffy has admitted that the recent 'Bitegate' saga "damaged the reputation of the association", but vigorously defended Croke Park's handling of the episode.
The incident was dragged up again last week after Donegal manager Jim McGuinness spoke publicly on the issue for the first time, defending Paddy McBrearty's decision not to attend a CHC hearing sought by Dublin defender Kevin O'Brien – identified by the Donegal camp as the player allegedly involved and proposed for a three-match ban.
Subsequently, Dublin chairman Andy Kettle responded over the weekend, insisting that Dublin were keen to draw a line under the saga, reiterating his belief that the injury suffered by McBrearty was consistent with a bruise rather than a bite.
But yesterday, speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport Championship preview, Duffy insisted that the GAA's disciplinary processes were "fair, robust and couldn't have done any more" to reach a satisfactory conclusion, but stressed that the "CCCC were dealt a very poor hand" due to the lack of hard evidence involved.
He insisted: "(It's) not good for the association and that's not something anyone wants to see happening. Unfortunately, it wasn't picked up by TV, video or by the match officials. It got into the public domain and the CCCC tried to investigate as much as they could ... and they did.
"There was a charge put upon a player, but that was dependent on evidence and the only evidence was from the player himself. He chose not to come and therefore the case collapsed. With regard to the procedure and the processes ... I don't think it could have been handled any better.
"From the GAA's perspective, it is unacceptable that a player did suffer a bite and that nobody has held to account and I think that everybody has to look at the part they played in that."
Duffy added that he understood McGuinness' defence of McBrearty, but added that he shared Liam O'Neill's sentiments last week, when the GAA president expressed his disappointment at the no-show.
"Short of somebody admitting it and owning up to it, the only other way it could have come to a conclusion was the player would have attended," Duffy added.
LEINSTER MFC QUARTER-FINALS
Kildare 3-11 Offaly 0-5
Dublin 0-17 Wexford 0-9
Westmeath 2-13 Wicklow 0-10
Meath 2-13 Laois 0-9
CHRISTY RING CUP
Kerry 0-14 Derry 0-8
Meath 0-22 Kildare 1-15
Wicklow 4-19 Mayo 3-10
Down 1-20 Armagh 1-11
NICKY RACKARD CUP
Tyrone 2-19 Monaghan 1-10
Donegal 1-16 Roscommon 0-16
NFL DIVISION 1 FINAL - Cork 0-14 (V Mulcahy 0-4 (3f), O Finn 0-3, G O'Flynn 0-3 (2f), R Ní Bhuachalla 0-2 (1f), D O'Sullivan and Angela Walsh 0-1 each) Mayo 0-7 (C Staunton 0-4 (1f), S Rowe 0-2, F McHale 0-1).
NFL DIVISION 2 FINAL - Kerry 1-13 (L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), S Houlihan 0-6 (4f), B Breen, P Dennehy, L Scanlon, L Rogers 0-1 each) Galway 1-10 (E Concannon 0-6f, A Clarke 1-0 pen, B Hannon, D Brennan, A Daly, L Hannon 0-1 each).
NFL DIVISION 3 FINAL - Armagh 0-11 (S McCleary 0-6 (2f), C O'Hanlon, F McKenna 0-2 each, K Mallon 0-1) Down 2-6 (K Trainor 1-1, H Jordan 1-0, L Cunningham, N Ferris (2f) 0-2, G McClean 0-1f).