New evidence has come to light in relation to the alleged abuse of Donegal minor captain Michael Carroll in last Sunday’s, Donegal, Tyrone minor game.
The Democrat has learned that both the referee Paul Faloon and his match officials were informed of the allegation by the player close to the end of the game.
The Donegal captain told the officials that two players had been giving him abuse throughout the game about the death of his father.
Michael’s father, Francie Carroll, from Gaoth Dobhair, a former county footballer, died of cancer in February, 2014, after a long illness.
Donegal manager Declan Bonner was made aware of the alleged abuse after the game and the Democrat has also learned that the matter was raised by Donegal Children’s Officer, Mick McGrath, with the Donegal Executive at a meeting on Monday.
The Democrat has also learned that following discussion at the Executive it was decided that the Donegal chairman Sean Dunnion would contact his opposite number in Tyrone, Roisin Jordan, and deal with it at that level.
However, the matter became public knowledge on Thursday evening when Donegal manager Declan Bonner, referred to the alleged abuse in his weekly column in the Donegal News.
The matter has been raging ever since over the weekend on social media. And the controversy was further fuelled by former Tyrone star forward, Peter Canavan, on Today FM on Friday evening when he stated that he had heard from a source in Donegal that there was no truth to the allegations. Ironically on the same programme Sunday Game analyst and former Donegal player, Martin Carney (who was at the game) said he could clearly see that Carroll was receiving verbals throughout the game.
The Tyrone county board also added fuel to the fire when they issued a statement on the matter on Friday evening refuting the allegation being made by Donegal manager Declan Bonner.
The statement read: “Due to persistent allegations circulating in the media, some of which have been attributed to the Donegal Minor football manager, regarding verbal abuse during the Tyrone versus Donegal Ulster Minor Football Championship match, Coiste Contae Thir Eoghain has conducted an investigation, involving its management and players.
“As a result of the investigation undertaken it would refute in the strongest possible terms that a comment was made by any of its players to a Donegal player regarding the death of his father in 2014. Tyrone GAA in no way condone ‘sledging’ and the managers and coaches of all our county teams, from Acadamh Thir Eoghain to Senior, actively discourage this practice.”
The statement went on to congratulate Donegal on winning the game and wished them well for the remainder of the 2015 championship.
Meanwhile,Donegal chairman Sean Dunnion, told the Democrat/Peoples Press last night that they (Donegal) were awaiting a formal response from Tyrone on the matter. He also stated that they were expecting that response last night.
“We have been in contact with Tyrone over the weekend and we are expecting to hear from them tonight in relation to our response to a request we received from them on Friday morning and which we returned to them on Friday afternoon,” said the Donegal chairman.
Donegal will be taking no further action or making any further statements on the matter until they hear from Tyrone.
It is not known if the referee included the matter in his report, but if there is to be an investigation, then it is likely that he and his officials will be part of that investigation.