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Kettle: O'Brien was pilloried


Andy Kettle

Andy Kettle

Andy Kettle

DUBLIN GAA chief Andy Kettle has expressed surprise at Jim McGuinness's decision to break his silence now on the so-called Ballybofey 'Bitegate' affair, two weeks after the disciplinary process was exhausted.

The county board chairman also maintained that Dublin defender Kevin O'Brien had been "pilloried" during the investigation while being exonerated, ultimately, by the Central Hearings Committee.

Donegal boss McGuinness spoke for the first time on Thursday night about the alleged biting of Paddy McBrearty during their NFL match with Dublin on April 7.

He also explained McBrearty's decision not to attend the CHC hearing that concluded with O'Brien (who had contested a proposed three-match ban recommended by the CCCC) being cleared and the alleged offence deemed "not proven".

Kettle heard radio comments from McGuinness yesterday morning and said it "surprised me somewhat."

Speaking at Dublin GAA's open night in Ballyboden St Enda's, he added: "There was a Dublin player cited. He went through the disciplinary procedure. There was found to be no evidence against him so, as far as Dublin are concerned, it's over."

Kettle reiterated his previous contention that McBrearty's injury was a bruise, not a laceration, adding: "It certainly was not broken skin."

Asked if he was disappointed that O'Brien's name became public during the investigation, he replied: "Absolutely. As in common law, we would feel that a player is innocent until proven guilty and the Dublin player cited has been pilloried, for want of a better word, while being exonerated by the procedure."