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Kerry county board secretary takes aim at media for coverage of Dingle-East Kerry brawl

Peter Twiss also says a lack of respect for officials is ‘endemic’ in the Association.

The incident occurred in the game at Austin Stacks Park in Tralee.
The incident occurred in the game at Austin Stacks Park in Tralee.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SOME OF THE coverage of the brawl which marred a Kerry SFC semi-final was ‘inaccurate, over-the-top and based wholly on hearsay’ according to the county secretary. 

Video footage of the October incident showed a Dingle selector, Colm Geaney, striking an East Kerry player.

Geaney was subsequently handed an eight-week suspension. Kerry secretary, Peter Twiss says these types of incidents are ‘rare enough’. 

“Some unsavoury incidents involving high-profile games and personnel did not serve the county well this year,” he writes in his annual report.

“The coverage of these events by the media diverged as seems to be the norm these days, into two distinct strands. One being accurate, fair and informative, the other inaccurate, over the top and based wholly on hearsay.

“As a board we welcome and take note of the former and try our best to ignore the latter. While the above mentioned incidents have no place in our games, their frequency is thankfully rare enough.

“Indeed I believe the amount of such incidents in and around the playing fields have diminished a lot over the last 20 years. However any such incident is one too many. Each and every individual regardless of who he or she is, or whatever their role with any team is or whether they find themselves on a side-line or in the stand is subject to the same laws that applies to everyone else in this country.

“They must realise and where necessary be informed though our clubs and other units that society has not granted anybody permission to use a sports occasion to justify this sort of behaviour.”

Twiss adds that a lack of respect for officials within the GAA is now a major problem.  

“A more pressing concern is the lack of respect within the Association for those who give of their time voluntarily, be they referees, stewards, officials, or whoever,” he writes. “The problem has become endemic and appears at all levels from juvenile to senior games, involving supporters, parents, players and team mentors.”

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