GAA President Liam O’Neill has criticised Donegal GAA for not seeing the biting allegations they made after the Dublin/Donegal league game through.
The Irish Times reports this morning that Donegal “didn’t show” at a critical stage in the process when an appeal was made by Dublin after their player was suspended for three games.
“People who had evidence didn’t show and that’s it. There’s nothing we can do about it,” he told the Irish Times. The player was subsequently cleared and the three game ban lifted.
According to the Irish Times, O’Neill also admitted there is an air of disappointment after the original penalty proposed by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) was struck out when the case went to the Central Hearings Committee last week, at which stage no evidence was provided by Donegal, who made the initial allegation.
The Times reports: “We had allegations,” said O’Neill, “and our system worked the best it could. A case had to be built, that was done, a decision based on the evidence in front of the CCCC, and a penalty was recommended. We had no evidence provided on the game. People who had evidence didn’t show and that’s it. There’s nothing we can do about it. Our system has improved dramatically. Páraic Duffy put that on the record last week. It works when people co-operate with it and tell what happened – that didn’t happen in this case.”
O’Neill has also called for a greater level of responsibility from players and county boards when it comes to confronting such matters: “I have great respect for people who take the penalty. Famously, John Mullane did that and got huge kudos for it . . .
“The ideal thing would have been having set the wheels in motion that the process would have been seen through. I think there’s a certain level of disappointment with this case. It would have been better if they knew they weren’t going to see it out to the end.”