BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JIM McGuinness has claimed that the Dublin player at the centre of biting allegations had ‘apologised’ to the Donegal forward Patrick McBrearty following last month’s League meeting of the sides.
The Dublin defender Kevin O’Brien had a three-match ban proposed by the Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) after it was claimed that he had bitten McBrearty late in the first half.
However, the case collapsed when McBrearty didn’t attend a meeting with the Central Hearings Committee (CHC), brought about after O’Brien appealed against the ban – and McGuinness has hit out at the negative comments that have since been levelled at his player.
“Patrick is the victim in this,” the Donegal manager said last night.
“Patrick was bit. We knew he was bit at half time. Our doctor confirmed he was bit. The Dublin doctor confirmed he was bit. The hospital that took him in confirmed he was bit.
“The Dublin player in question apologised to him after the game for what he had done. The young fella didn’t want to go and that’s the bottom line.
“For Patrick to be the bad guy in this having been the victim I feel I is wrong and I feel a lot of that has come from the top of the organisation and I don’t think that’s fair and that’s all I have to say on it.”
The Donegal manager said that he had advised the player to attend the CHC meeting in Croke Park, but had not put pressure on the player.
He said: “We wanted him to go; the county board wanted him to go. But he is 18 years of age.
“Patrick said everything he had to say and they had all the information he felt he wasn’t going to add any more to it and for them reasons he decided he didn’t want to go and he didn’t want to go into a room and point a finger at anyone.
“But he put it in the report what had happened. It wasn’t up to Patrick, in my opinion, to win the case for the CCCC. They had all the information and it wasn’t up to him to win the case for them.”
The falling of the disciplinary proceedings caused some ire among leading GAA officials, with GAA President Liam O’Neill commenting in the wake of that CHC meeting: “We had no evidence provided on the game. People who had evidence didn’t show and that’s it.”
McGuinness took exception to the Laois man’s comments.
He said: “The President of the GAA is a school teacher and should know someone of that age is not fully developed and fully mature and doesn’t want to get into a court room like situation.
“The thing was reported to the referee and was put into the hands of the CCCC. They had a strong enough case to ban the player and in the last two weeks I am reading negative articles about Patrick and he was the victim in this.”