BY CHRIS MCNULTY
CROKE Park has launched its investigations into claims that the Donegal forward Patrick McBrearty sustained a bite wound during Sunday’s National Football League clash against Dublin in Ballybofey.
The Donegal Board came under fire yesterday from the Dublin Chairman, Andy Kettle, but officials within the county are confident that they have gone through the ‘appropriate channels’ and aired their grievances to the correct people.
Yesterday, Kettle gave an interview to journalists in the capital, in which he made some bizarre claims that are in contrary to a series of events on Sunday.
However, Kettle’s big grievance is that his Board was not notified officially of their complaint.
“I am surprised that the Donegal County Board have not officially contacted the Dublin County Board,” Mr Kettle said in an interview broadcast on 98FM yesterday evening.
“The first notice I got off it was from one of your colleagues (on Monday) afternoon.
“I was very surprised when I got the call that something was supposed to have happened and that we hadn’t been notified through the appropriate channels.
“Since that, I have heard on radio that the Dublin management were informed. That is not my understanding. I have spoken to our manager and, as far as he is concerned, he was not informed of any potential incident.
“There is protocol in the GAA for things to be handled and I don’t think that protocol was followed on this occasion.
“Protocol would be either county secretary to county secretary or county chairman to county chairman.”
While Donegal officials have declined to comment on the matter in public, privately they are said to be satisfied in the manner they have raised the alleged incident.
“It was mentioned by myself and the management team at half-time to Padraig Hughes and again at the end of the game to Michael Duffy,” the Donegal County Secretary, Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh had said on Monday.
It is alleged that 19-year old McBrearty received a laceration of his shoulder after being bitten in the closing stages of the first half of Sunday’s game.
McBrearty was treated at half-time by the Donegal team doctors, Mr Kevin Moran and Dr Charlie McManus.
Medics again treated the player after the game when the Dublin team doctor was invited to the Donegal dressing room to examine the wound.
“My understanding is that he saw a bruise. Not a laceration, a bruise,” said Mr Kettle, though this is in contrary to what the Dublin medic apparently said during his visit to the Donegal dressing room.
Further, the Dublin Chairman claimed that the Dublin doctor had not informed the Dublin manager, Jim Gavin, about the Donegal allegations ‘while they were in the park’.
However, senior officials in Donegal insist that their reporting of the matter to the referee at half-time and again ‘straight after the game’ is in line with official procedure.
Donegal’s complaint has been listed in the referee’s report and an investigation is underway in Croke Park, with disciplinary chiefs now attempting to establish the manner in which McBrearty received the wound, which required the player to receive a tetanus jab on Sunday evening at Letterkenny General Hospital and be prescribed a course of antibiotics.
“We will wait to see what is in the referee’s report,” Kettle said.
“That would go to the CCC and it would be up to the Central CCC to do something if they wished to do something.
“First of all, was there an incident? That has to be answered.
“It was a hard pitch. Some of our boys had bruises on their bodies as well, but I wouldn’t say that any of them were as a result of anything that happened between them and Donegal players.”
Donegal chiefs have declined to respond publicly to the Dublin Chairman’s comments, conscious that McBrearty will be a key figure in tonight’s Ulster U21 final against Cavan in Enniskillen.