Donegal GAA have received an apology from a top Croke Park offical following criticism of Donegal’s handling of controversial biting incident.
Paraic Duffy, the GAA’s Director General, has apologised to Donegal officials over his criticism of Donegal’s handling of the incident that happened during last April’s Allianz League meeting between the counties in Ballybofey.
He was also critical in the report of the Donegal decision, last September, to postpone the playing of this year’s club senior and intermediate championship (2014) until after the county had completed their All-Ireland Championship campaign.
At the time of the publication of his report Donegal officials let it be known they were unhappy with the Director General’s comments and requested a meeting with him.
“Myself and the runai Aodh Martín O’Fearraigh met Paraic Duffy on February 6th in Monaghan and we made him aware of our unhappiness at his comments on both the Patrick McBrearty incident and the decision to postpone the championships,” Sean Dunnion told county committee.
“We insisted that we did all we could on the biting incident and that we had to stand by the player and respect his decision not to attend the hearing on the incident.
“He accepted our argument and admitted that we had done all we could have done in the circumstances and he apologised to him for his comments.
“In relation to the postponing of the championships, he said as we were the first county to take the decision he felt duty bound to mention the matter in his report.”
The Director General made his comments in his annual report to this year’s GAA Congress. He was also critical of Dublin and their attitude to the highly controversial biting incident.
“The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) investigated the matter as thoroughly as possible, but was greatly hindered by the absence of video and other evidence,” Duffy said in his report.
“The CCCC, therefore, was reliant on the integrity of those involved to play their part in ensuring that justice was served. However, no one was proved to have inflicted the bite simply because no one admitted to having done so and because the player who was bitten decided not to attend a hearing on the case.”
The Director General said the incident was ‘disgusting and shocking’, but said the blame for damaging the ‘reputation of the Association’ lay with ‘players, team officials and county committee officers.’
A Dublin player was charged with biting McBrearty during last April’s Allianz League meeting of Donegal and Dublin in Ballybofey.
The player was subsequently charged over the incident. However, he had a proposed three-match ban overturned on appeal, after Patrick McBrearty opted not to give evidence to the Central Hearings Committee.