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McGuinness lashes out over O'Neill's 'Bitegate' comments

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Donegal manager Jim McGuinness

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness

JIM McGuinness has fired a broadside at GAA president Liam O'Neill over his comments on the controversial biting allegation made by Donegal's Paddy McBrearty.

The Dublin defender Kevin O'Brien had a three-match ban proposed by the Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) after it was claimed that he had bitten McBrearty late in the first half of the sides' NFL clash.

However, the case quickly ended when McBrearty didn't attend a meeting with the Central Hearings Committee (CHC), after O'Brien appealed against the ban.

The collapse of the disciplinary proceedings caused some ire among leading GAA officials, with O'Neill commenting in the wake of that CHC meeting: "We had no evidence provided on the game. People who had evidence didn't show and that's it."

McGuinness, however, took exception to the Laois man's comments. "The president of the GAA is a school teacher and should know someone of that age is not fully developed and fully mature and doesn't want to get into a court room like situation," stated the Donegal boss.

"The thing was reported to the referee and was put into the hands of the CCCC. They had a strong enough case to ban the player and, over the last two weeks, I am reading negative articles about Patrick – and he was the victim."

Speaking on the subject for the first time last night, McGuinness hit out at the negative comments that have since been levelled at his player.

"Patrick is the victim in this," said McGuinness. "We knew he was bitten at half-time. Our doctor confirmed that he was bitten. The hospital confirmed he was bitten."

The Donegal manager said that he had advised the player to attend the CHC meeting in Croke Park, but had not put pressure on him.

He explained: "We wanted him to go; the county board wanted him to go. But he is 18 years of age.

"Patrick said everything he had to say and they had all the information... He decided he didn't want to go and into a room and point a finger at anyone."

Irish Independent