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Dublin GAA chief: 'The tone, at times, was one of 'these lads should be arraigned for treason' '

John Costello has addressed the annual Dublin senior training session earlier this year in his annual report.

Dublin secretary's John Costello.
Dublin secretary's John Costello.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

DUBLIN GAA CHIEF John Costello has taken aim at the media coverage of last spring’s training session by members of the county’s football panel at the Innisfails club, which was in breach of the Covid-19 guidelines.

Costello has written in his annual report to the Dublin GAA convention that this is ‘not any attempt to defend the indefensible’.

He has outlined Dublin county board’s reaction the controversy, with their investigation leading to the suspension of manager Dessie Farrell, along with the GAA sanctions imposed.

Costello pointed out Dublin were not ‘press-ganged’ into the statement they released on the matter, while also mentioning recent interviews with Dean Rock and Brian Fenton that echoed the sentiments of the board.

But Costello has still expressed his displeasure with the media commentary, in comparison to other instances where Covid-19 guidelines were breached.

“However, one thing that is worth mentioning on reflection was the level, intensity and tone of some of the media commentary – and this, most certainly, is not any attempt to defend the indefensible.

“The tone, at times, was one of ‘these lads should be arraigned for treason’ and that they were guilty of burgling the bank of youth from the young citizens of the country.

“For almost two weeks, some media organisations turned over every stone to see if they could squeeze yet more mileage out of the story.

“Was the same attitude applied to other teams who were also in breach? Or to a team from a different sporting code who broke restrictions to go outside the jurisdiction for social events?

“And that’s before even mentioning any political ‘socials’.

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“Most certainly not. Would ‘The Hawks against the Dubs?’ be an aphorism for the time?

“Then the following doozy of a headline was brought to my attention: “Most of us don’t have a garden big enough for 50 guests – but who hasn’t fallen off lockdown wagon like Nathan Carter?”

“Certainly, we live in very interesting times!”

BTL 5

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Fintan O'Toole

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