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Benny Coulter: 'I've been the victim of GAA sledging'

Down forward tells TheScore ‘you get a lot of it’ on the Gaelic football pitch.

Benny Coulter: ' Is it worth giving players abuse on the pitch?'
Benny Coulter: ' Is it worth giving players abuse on the pitch?'
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

DOWN FORWARD Benny Coulter admits he’s been the victim of verbal abuse on the Gaelic football pitch in the past.

The issue of sledging was brought to the foreground in the wake of the spat between Armagh and Laois over a week ago in O’Moore Park.

Orchard captain Ciarán McKeever was sent off and selector Paul Grimley was subsequently landed with a month’s ban after a fiery league encounter which ended with an Armagh statement that accused Laois of racially taunting their players.

The Armagh County Board subsequently accepted that their strongly-worded condemnation was not ‘an accurate reflection’ of what happened in Portlaoise, although both counties agreed that there were some “inappropriate verbal exchanges” between the players.

Over the weekend, Director General Pairic Duffy reiterated the need to stamp out the culture of trash talking in the GAA. And yesterday at Croke Park, the All-Star attacker echoed Duffy’s call.

“You get a lot of it in the GAA in fairness. It has happened, there’s no question or doubt about it,” Coulter told TheScore, saying that he’s been on the end of a few “sly digs, but nothing sectarian.”

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. When you hang up your boots and you go out and have a pint with a few mates that you’ve played against over the years, you’ll never look twice at those boys that do the slagging during the matches.

“You have friends, great friends in the GAA that you’ll always meet after for a pint. At the end of the day, is it worth giving players abuse on the pitch, or to have a good friendship with some players down through the years?”

Laois manager and Armagh native Justin McNulty, meanwhile, said there was no winners in the disagreement.

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Niall Kelly

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