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GAA to crack down on abuse by Twitter

GAA director-general Paraic Duffy has branded the recent use of Twitter by some GAA players as "not acceptable" and warned that association members will have to be "held to account" for what they post on public forums.

After their senior football championship exit to Limerick due to a late disputed point, a number of Wexford players took to the social networking site to register their anger at the performance of Longford referee Derek Fahy, but Duffy warned that any similar outbursts may not be ignored in the future.

"I know people would argue what people say on Twitter is their own business, but I don't think it's as simple as that," argued the Monaghan man. "I don't think these forums can become a place for criticising match officials.

"In the heat of the moment people will say things they regret, but that's going to happen.

"But three or four days after the game when there is personal criticism -- be it of players or whoever -- is carrying on, that can't be acceptable, and our members have to be held to account.

"If you go over the top and make claims that are wrong and damage a person's character or integrity, then you've got to be accountable for that. It's an issue of respect."

Although the GPA issued guidelines on the use of Twitter to its members,it is also exploring the possibility of a forum where players could formally air their grievances with match officials.

"The guidelines on Twitter are not prescriptive in any way," said GPA spokesman Sean Potts. "We told them to be conscious of your responsibility as a squad member."

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