Sunday 18 February 2018

O'Neill hits back at Grimley over Armagh brawl bans

Armagh and Cavan players involved in a disagreement before their match in June.
Armagh and Cavan players involved in a disagreement before their match in June.
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

GAA president Liam O'Neill has flatly rejected Paul Grimley's suggestion that he influenced disciplinary chiefs in their handling of the fallout from the contentious Ulster SFC clash between Armagh and Cavan

The Orchard boss stated that O'Neill and GAA director-general Paraic Duffy helped ensure three Armagh and two Cavan players were hit with one-game bans after what he branded "hysterical" media reporting of the row that broke out between the sides before the pre-match parade.

"He made an accusation, I'm not sure why he did," O'Neill said. "You'd need to ask him why he said that, but I certainly had no influence whatsoever. I wasn't happy with what he said, but I didn't comment on it at the time.

"Paraic and I have no hand, act or part in discipline, the appointment of referees or match officiating of any sort. I don't mind putting on record that I have never spoken to the CCCC on any discipline matter since I became president.

"I made the decision when I became president that we appoint people to do those jobs – I do my job and they do theirs. It would be wrong of either Paraic or I to do that and it just doesn't arise. There is no mechanism by which we can talk to them. We don't do it."

Armagh's protest at the reporting of the incident has continued as they didn't participate fully in Monday's media event aimed at promoting their Croke Park clash with Meath on Saturday.

O'Neill also hinted that the GAA could be in line to host Notre Dame in a major American football college game in the near future should the Croke Park Classic on August 30 between the University of Central Florida and Penn State be a success.

"There's a chance of a huge game here in 2016 or '17 between Notre Dame and a Boston team. They're looking for that, that would be the dream game."

Meanwhile, Kerry have made one change to their starting 15 for Sunday's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Galway, with Dingle's Michael Geaney coming into the half-forward line to replace the injured Stephen O'Brien, who is nursing a quad-muscle problem.

Kerry (v Galway): B Kelly; M Ó Sé, A O'Mahony, S Enright; P Murphy, K Young, F Fitzgerald; A Maher, B Sheehan; M Geaney, J Buckley, D Walsh; P Geaney, D O'Sullivan, J O'Donoghue.

Irish Independent

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