Wednesday 13 December 2017

'Jim Gavin has crossed a line and it cannot be tolerated' - Bernard Flynn

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Two-time All-Ireland winner Bernard Flynn has said that Dublin manager Jim Gavin 'crossed a line' on Sunday when he disallowed any member of the Dublin team from talking to RTE after the Jacks 31-point win over Westmeath at Croke Park.

Gavin launched an attack on The Sunday Game pundit Pat Spillane after the game with the Dublin boss unhappy at what he thought was a 'pre-meditated' statement by Spillane in his analysis of Diarmuid Connolly's push on linesman Ciaran Branagan earlier this month.

Connolly subsequently received a 12-week ban for the infraction and will not be available until the All-Ireland semi-final, should the Dubs make it that far, with Gavin and Dublin now refusing to speak individually to GAA broadcasters RTE and Sky Sports.

Flynn wrote in his column with the Irish Daily Mirror on Wednesday that Gavin had 'hurt' his players with the move, and that he had used Dublin's self-imposed broadcast media ban to galvanise his squad.

"I have huge respect for what Jim Gavin has achieved with Dublin but he's crossed a line and it can't be tolerated," wrote Flynn.

"His tirade at The Sunday Game analysis of Diarmuid Connolly after his push on linesman Ciaran Branagan earlier this month was clearly a stunt to whip up a reaction.

"I was astounded to hear him speak as he did. No one can tell me that what happened last Sunday had anything to do with Diarmuid Connolly. It was Jim Gavin effectively stating that 'I'm the boss' in some hamfisted effort to galvanise his squad.

"As for the stance that has been taken with the broadcasters, the players are the only losers in that. They have a small window of opportunity in their careers to maximise their profile which may help them get a job or pick up commercial deals.

"As long as that arrangement remains they're losing out, not Jim Gavin."

Flynn also contrasts Gavin's use of the Connolly suspension with other manager's treatment of volatile stars from the past, with the former Meath All Star insisting that Gavin's use of Connolly's case to send a personal message to match broadcasters has no place in the GAA.

"Think of the coverage afforded to the likes of Paul Galvin, Tomas O Se, Graham Geraghty, how they were ridiculed at times and the team I played on myself in the 80s.

"At no time did any manager use those individuals to deliver a personal message like Jim Galvin did last Sunday. It has no place in our games."

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