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Donegal GAA officials meet with Paraic Duffy to clarify comments

GAA Director General, Paraic Duffy.

GAA Director General, Paraic Duffy.

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

PARAIC Duffy, the Director General of the GAA, met with leading Donegal officials last month to clarify two high-profile extracts of the Monaghan man’s annual report for Congress which were highly critical of Donegal.

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Duffy highlighted Donegal’s decision to defer the club senior and intermediate championships until after the county team has made its exit from the All-Ireland series.

In the report, Mr Duffy mentions ‘one county’ (Donegal) and an arrangement that ‘shows neither concern nor respect for club players’, in reference to the Donegal decision to put the club championships on the back burner.

He was also critical of the handling of the incident last April when the Donegal forward Patrick McBrearty was bitten by a Dublin player during a League game, but no justice was brought.

In the wake of the release of the report, a meeting took place between the Director General and Donegal representatives.

The County Chairman, Sean Dunnion, and the County Secretary, Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh, sat down with Mr Duffy at the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan on February 6th last, where the grievances were discussed.

“He (Duffy) said that he couldn’t overlook it in his report as we were the first county to announce that it would happen,” Sean Dunnion told Monday’s monthly meeting of the county committee.

“He said he didn’t mean to cause offence to the officers or to Patrick McBrearty in relation to his incident.”

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Duffy was strong in his condemnation of the biting incident, but expressed frustration in his report that McBrearty had not attended a CCCC hearing.

“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,” he wrote.

At their meeting, Duffy appears to have accepted Donegal’s version of events.

Mr Dunnion said: “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. He was satisfied that the Donegal County Board couldn’t do anymore. He accepted what we presented to him.”

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