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Duffy: "There was nothing sneaky or dishonest about the way that the GAA dealt with this matter."

The GAA Director-General has reacted against the views expressed by Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney after yesterday’s All-Ireland qualifier.

Seanie Johnston coming on as a substitute for Kildare yesterday.
Seanie Johnston coming on as a substitute for Kildare yesterday.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

PADRAIC DUFFY HAS hit back at Kildare boss Kieran McGeeney’s suggestion that attacker Seanie Johnston’s only mistake was being too honest and not sneaky in relation to his controversial transfer from Cavan.

The GAA Director-General has defended the association’s conduct in the prolonged saga and described himself as ‘extremely disappointed’ with McGeeney’s remarks.

The former All-Ireland winning captain made the comments in the wake of yesterday’s All-Ireland SFC round two qualifier win for Kildare against Cavan in Kingspan Breffni Park, a game where Johnston finally made his debut for the Lilywhites as he faced off against his native county and kicked a late point.

“Seanie’s biggest problem was that he was honest from the word go,” stated McGeeney. “It was hard and I’m sure I’ll be getting more abuse about it. All I know, is he was available to play for Kildare. He was told he wasn’t wanted in Cavan so there’s no more to it than that for me. He’s a good fella. He’s honest and tried to do everything above board. But unfortunately in the GAA, that isn’t always the way to do it. You’re better being sneaky and telling lies on different things.”

But Duffy, speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme earlier today, was not impressed with those comments.

“I know Kieran McGeeney well but I have to say I’m extremely disappointed with those comments. The facts of the matter are the CCC, as is their role, examined the transfer on two occasions. It was their job to establish whether or not the player was genuinely a permanent resident in Kildare. I think the proof of the integrity of the process is that despite the reservations of the CCC and many people within the GAA, the CAC actually granted the transfer.

“The transfer was granted under rules that prevailed before Congress this year. I think the rule changes that were made means this type of situation won’t arise again. The player is now with Kildare. So I think the integrity of the process is beyond reproach. There was nothing sneaky or dishonest about the way that the GAA dealt with this matter.”

Speaking on the same programme, former Dublin footballer Ciaran Whelan believes McGeeney may regret his comments.

“This has been a long drawn out process. It’s a very different transfer to any that has ever happened before. It’s obviously been a difficult period for Kieran McGeeney and he’s been emotionally charged after yesterday’s game. I think he’ll probably wake up this morning and regrets the comments because they were slightly inaccurate. There’s been a lot written and a lot said. Everbody needs to now move on.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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