Friday 24 November 2017

Dublin GAA chief John Costello slams Darragh Ó Sé over Diarmuid Connolly comments

Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, celebrates his side's All-Ireland final victory over Kerry in September. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, celebrates his side's All-Ireland final victory over Kerry in September. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin GAA chief executive John Costello has taken former Kerry footballer Darragh Ó Sé to task over remarks he made about Diarmuid Connolly during the year.

Ó Sé questioned Connolly’s ‘fuse’ in the build up to the Leinster semi-final against Kildare and suggested there was still “something to be said for pulling his tail and seeing if he’ll hiss back at you.”

At the time Dublin manager Jim Gavin said that he had long since grown accustomed to “taking with a pinch of salt” anything Kerry people say about other counties.

But Costello has used his end-of-year-review to address the comments.

Suggesting  “the ball was thrown in’ very early in the summer ahead of any potential Dublin v Kerry clash” when O’Se made those comments, Costello said Ó Sé, “as good as placed a target on the back of one of our most outstanding footballers.

“In my opinion, some of the content was mean-spirited and the choice of language was somewhat inflammatory. “

He also questions the labeling of the Dublin team as champions based on pace and power more than skill.

“On the subject of the characterisation of our senior footballers, it is strange how, in many quarters, they are depicted as a team that are successful due to their ‘pace and power’.

“Is there not several players on the current Dublin team that are as gifted as any footballer in their position of this generation and a few who must rank among the all-time great Dublin footballers?” he asked.

Costello has also the amount of extra money Dublin (and presumably Mayo) received for their involvement in an All-Ireland semi-final replay that attracted over 81,000 in early September.

He wonders if it had anything to do with the player heave against the previous management in Mayo, not long after the team’s defeat in that replay.

“After a year, when once again, the Dublin footballers proved to be the most successful in the country and attracted the largest crowds to headquarters, we were promised the princely sum of €15,000,” he writes.

“We don't feel we have a sense of entitlement but we think that after a campaign that included a near full-house (81,897) for our All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay against Mayo, the purse strings could have been loosened a little bit at least.

“We also know that Dublin's commercial value to the central coffers exceeds any other county by a stretch.

“In recent years, counties involved in an All-Ireland final replay have received additional holiday grants of €50,000 and the receipts from the semi-final replay would, I estimate, be comparable.

“Perhaps the reason for the reduction is that our opponents were having, what you might term 'industrial relations issues' regarding their players/management interface at the end of this summer, that Croke Park were not prepared to grant us any more finances.

“It would appear Charles Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge has taken up residence off Jones Road this festive season!”

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