Monday 18 December 2017

Farrell: Players need to think before they tweet

Gaelic Players Association (GPA) chief Dessie Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
Gaelic Players Association (GPA) chief Dessie Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

GAELIC Players Association (GPA) chief Dessie Farrell has urged players to "draw breath" before taking to social networking sites to vent their anger.

Farrell was responding to the weekend's events, which saw a number of Louth footballers use Twitter to lash the performance of referee Derek Fahy in their qualifier defeat to Westmeath.

Players can be charged with bringing the Association into disrepute -- an offence that carries an eight-week suspension -- for comments they make.

Last year, Wexford goalkeeper Anthony Masterson avoided suspension after apologising to Fahy for remarks he had made. Crucially, however, those comments came in a post-match RTE interview.

Other Wexford players avoided censure for their comments on Twitter in the wake of their controversial loss to Limerick and, so far, no player has been hit with a ban for their online musings.

The GPA has issued social media guidelines to its members but Farrell appealed for players to carefully consider what they put into the public domain.

Farrell also agreed that the adoption of a policy similar to the IRFU's, which sees players abstain from tweeting for a defined period before and after matches, could be looked at.

"Obviously, the whole advent of social media is a challenge for every organisation. It can be very positive if harnessed in the right way," he said.

"But it can also cause some issues if it's not. And we have encouraged players to be very, very careful of their attitude to Twitter.

"And just to draw breath on occasion and reflect. And maybe leave it to the following morning or 24 hours before they actually put pen to paper, to so speak."

Irish Independent

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