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'TV not a consideration' in deciding to play Dublin v Tyrone in stormy Healy Park

Dessie Farrell says a GAA official told him the game only went ahead as it was being televised on RTÉ and eir.

Dublin's Paul Mannion on the ball for Dublin against Tyrone.
Dublin's Paul Mannion on the ball for Dublin against Tyrone.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Updated Mar 2nd 2020, 3:27 PM

THE GAA SAY that TV arrangements were ‘not a consideration’ when deciding whether or not to play Saturday night’s game between Dublin and Tyrone while both RTÉ and eir Sport, who were providing live coverage, insisted they did not influence the decision to play the match.

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell claimed after the game that a GAA official assured him the game would have been cancelled only for that it was televised live on RTÉ and eir Sport.

An RTÉ spokesperson told The42 today that they ‘had no input whatsoever into any decision that the game should ahead’.

“I can confirm that eir Sport had absolutely no input on the decision,” was the response from an eir Sport spokesperson.

Storm Jorge made playing conditions difficult in Healy Park for the game, with video clips showing persistent heavy rainfall as well as strong gales interfering with the flight of the ball.

Farrell stated afterwards he had relayed his concerns about player safety to referee Cormac Reilly before the game, where his side suffered their first defeat of the 2020 league campaign.

When contacted by The42, a GAA spokesperson said that televised broadcasting of the game ‘was not a consideration’ in making the call to press ahead with the fixture.

They added that referee Reilly was the ‘best placed’ to make that judgement along with his match officials, and said that his match report is expected later today.

They also said the GAA is satisfied that a thorough pitch inspection was carried out prior to throw-in, and that due consideration was given to player welfare when determining if the pitch was fit to play on.

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Additional reporting by Fintan O’Toole

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