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Connolly there 'for good part' of 8-hour DRA hearing that ended early Saturday morning

The Dublin forward was dramatically cleared to play against Mayo.

Diarmuid Connolly after the match.
Diarmuid Connolly after the match.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DIARMUID CONNOLLY WAS present for ‘a good part’ of the DRA hearing that last eight hours before concluding in his favour in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The Dublin star was dramatically cleared to play after being sent-off in last Sunday’s drawn game and yesterday helped his side claim a seven-point replay win over Mayo that propels them into an All-Ireland final.

The hearing began at 7.30pm on Friday night before ending at approximately 2.30am on Saturday morning.

Connolly attended ‘a good part’ of the hearing according to manager Jim Gavin and the Dublin boss insisted he had no qualms about selecting the St Vincent’s man despite the distraction last week.

“He was there for a good part of it. We engaged with the process. We respect it and that’s what we did. It’s there for us, it’s there for any team to use and that’s what we did.

“We took advice from the administrators of the Dublin County Board and they supported us all the way.”

Diarmuid Connolly and Lee Keegan after the ganme Diarmuid Connolly and Lee Keegan after the game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Gavin dismissed any suggestions his players were distracted by the controversy.

“I’d say of all the county teams the Dublin players are used to a lot of external stuff going on.

“So they are quite accustomed to those external distractions and they are quite good at getting into a performance bubble and blocking it out.

“We actually enjoyed this week, we had good fun getting ready for this game and I think the way they played they showed that.”

Noel Connolly and Jim Gavin shake hands at the end of the game Dublin's Jim Gavin and Mayo's Noel Connelly shake hands after the game. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Despite suggestions that the GAA’s disciplinary system now needs to be overhauled, Gavin refused to be drawn into criticism.

“I thought they were very facilitating, obviously the time is compressing coming up to the game and I thought anybody we engaged in the process made themselves available for late hours. We can only be grateful for that.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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