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GAA Director blasts Dublin and Donegal for 'reprehensible' handling of McBrearty bite

Paraic Duffy says the “disgusting and shocking incident” was one of the GAA’s low points in 2013.

McBrearty: Donegal player was bitten during National Football League game last season.
McBrearty: Donegal player was bitten during National Football League game last season.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

PARAIC DUFFY BELIEVES it was ‘reprehensible’ that no one was held to account for the controversy that emerged last April when Donegal footballer Patrick McBrearty suffered a bite to his arm.

In the GAA Director-General’s annual report, which was published this morning, Duffy slammed the incident as ‘disgusting and shocking’.

“One of the low points of 2013 came in April during the Donegal v Dublin Allianz football league game in Ballybofey. There is agreement on the fact that, during the game, Donegal player Patrick McBrearty sustained a severe bite to his arm.

“That was a disgusting and shocking incident in itself but what is just as reprehensible is that no one could be held to account for what happened. The CCCC investigated the matters as thoroughly as possible, but was greatly hindered by the absence of video and other evidence.

“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. The counties involved may have chosen to deal with this incident solely in terms of their own interests.

“Be that as it may, they did not emerge with any credit and succeeded only in damaging the reputation of the Association. The responsibility for limiting the damage to the reputation of the Association lay with players, team officials and county committee officers.”

Duffy also expressed his hope that players will realize such ‘primitive behavior is shameful and dangerous’.

“At meetings subsequent to this episode, Central Council issue a directive that stipulated that such an action would be designed a Category III infraction, carrying a minimum suspension of eight weeks.

“One can only hope that the application of this directive will be unnecessary as players realize that such primitive behavior is shameful and dangerous, and that it has no place in Gaelic games.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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