Friday 24 November 2017

Accusers must follow through with any biting claims -- O'Neill

Liam Ó Néill
Liam Ó Néill
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

GAA president Liam O'Neill has reiterated his view that there is "collective responsibility" among all stakeholders in Gaelic games to ensure that any allegation of biting is substantiated properly.

O'Neill was speaking in advance of a Leinster Council meeting in Portlaoise tonight which will seek to establish if a DCU player was bitten by a Dublin opponent during last Sunday's O'Byrne Cup clash at Parnell Park.

The attention of referee David Gough was drawn to an alleged incident during the second half of the game and he subsequently made reference to it in his report.

The Leinster Council has sought the views of both Dublin and DCU officials, but unless either body furnish evidence that such an incident took place, the prospects of a charge being laid at any player are limited.

O'Neill stressed that he has little knowledge of the incident, having just returned from the US where he was on official GAA business, but he stuck by comments he previously made about allegations of biting.

"I would hope that if an allegation is made, the person who makes it will follow it through," he said.

UNFAIR

"That is a huge help to a disciplinary process. If you don't follow through, it really is better not to make it. If you don't follow it through, it is very unfair to make it in the first place.

"There is a collective responsibility on players to follow through on any allegation made."

O'Neill acknowledged that proving an allegation of biting remains difficult for administrators without people giving sufficient evidence.

"If it was easily seen it would not be done. But we view those things seriously. Our disciplinary process is robust, and if the allegations are followed up and if people give evidence then it is easy to create a case, if, indeed, there is a case to be made."

O'Neill has flagged the prospect of more sustained attempts to keep supporters off the field for post-match presentations at provincial grounds after Limerick County Board received insurance claims following the 2013 Munster final. O'Neill said it was a "pity" that it took these claims to "get people behind" the attempts to keep supporters off the field in these situations, but stressed it was never an insurance issue and was more to do with safety.

Limerick defender Stephen Walsh sustained an eye injury in the tumultuous scenes that followed the game.

"A number of commentators have been commenting on the issue and saying it is traditional to go on the field and so on. It is actually dangerous and it is not justifiable in modern society that people put themselves at risk by going on to a field," said O'Neill.

Irish Independent

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