Saturday 25 November 2017

Attacks on Davy the height of hypocrisy

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Such has been the hysteria over Davy Fitzgerald's encroachment on the pitch in Nowlan Park last Sunday that you would be forgiven for thinking that no-one ever put a foot out of place in the GAA before.

You might also think that the GAA's disciplinary heads had ignored it. You would, of course, be wrong on both fronts. Instead, they slapped an eight-week ban on Davy, although what exactly that means I have no idea.

I was once suspended for eight weeks for what the GAA deemed unfair criticism of a referee but what I deemed the fairest of comment. I made my case in Croke Park one night, where I was told I would be cleared if I apologised or said I was misquoted, neither of which I was prepared to do.

So I was promptly handed a two-month ban, said 'good night' to the committee, drove home and got on with managing Galway in full view of everyone.

Our next game was in Páirc Uí Chaiomh where, to their great credit, the Cork County Board provided me with a chair to sit on the sideline. Very comfortable it was too. Business as usual and I continued from there on, managing away as if nothing had happened. I never heard another word from Croke Park.

I don't know if the situation for a manager is the same nowadays but I hope it is, certainly when it comes to training a team.

Davy broke a rule last Sunday, the GAA moved quickly on the case and that's it as far as I'm concerned. Yet, for some reason, there has been endless pontificating, with people who should know better preaching fire and brimstone as if they never broke a rule themselves. It sounds a lot like hypocrisy to me.

I've worked alongside Davy with Limerick IT and I can safely say I've never met a man who's more passionate about hurling than he is.

That doesn't allow him to overstep the mark and, when it happened last Sunday, he was hit by the rulebook. That should be enough, rather than crucify him personally as well, which some people seem determined to do.

Aren't they lucky they lead such perfect lives?

Irish Independent

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