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'It's disappointing to see the GAA hide behind process and procedures instead of doing the right thing'

Ballyboden boss Andy McEntee felt that midfielder Declan O’Mahony’s suspension should have been overturned for the final.

Declan O'Mahony is shown red against Clonmel Commericals.
Declan O'Mahony is shown red against Clonmel Commericals.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

VICTORIOUS BALLYBODEN ST Enda’s manager Andy McEntee couldn’t help voicing his disgust with the GAA for not allowing midfielder Declan O’Mahony to play against Castlebar Mitchels yesterday.

The Dublin club was crowned All-Ireland champions for the first time thanks to a 2-14 to 0-7 win at Croke Park yesterday.

Despite the joyous scenes at the final whistle, McEntee felt aggrieved that O’Mahony failed to have his suspension, received for a straight red card in the All-Ireland semi-final against Clonmel Commericals, overturned.

The original decision was upheld in a hearing on Wednesday and McEntee admitted that the absence of such an important club veteran, and former Dublin senior panellist, spurred his side on in the All-Ireland final.

“Declan was a huge motivating factor for the team,” McEntee said.

“We felt that he should have been playing and we tried to make a positive out of what was very much a negative for a great servant of the club.

I did expect him to get off. We looked at the video evidence. We had a statement from the player that he tackled.

“I’ll probably get into trouble for this but it’s disappointing when you see an association like the GAA hide behind process and procedures instead of doing the right thing.

“Yet again we turn around and see club players being treated differently than county players and that’s all I really want to say. I’m going to get into enough trouble as it is.

Michael Darragh MacAuley, so often O’Mahony’s partner in the Ballyboden midfield, was gutted that his team-mate missed out yesterday.

Shane Durkin, Michael Darragh Macauley and Darragh Nelson Michael Darragh Macauley (centre) celebrates with Shane Durkin (left) and captain Darragh Nelson (right). Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“It’s heartbreaking for Dec. That’s the biggest stage, that’s where Declan was born to play.

“The years of service that man has given to Ballyboden GAA .. it was hard, it was tough on Dec.

“As much as we needed him as a team, you kind of felt for him more as an individual.”

MacAuley, who was forced off the field with injury yesterday just after half-time, felt that Ballyboden’s depth of talent was obvious against Castlebar as they continued to keep the Connacht champions at arm’s length without their two starting midfielders.

“The way it turned out, we didn’t need me or Dec out there so it was all right.

“You’ve got to feel for him. He’s in there with a smile on his face but it’s got to be tough.”

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