Jim Gavin refuses to be drawn on Diarmuid Connolly return for Dublin

Jim Gavin refuses to be drawn on Diarmuid Connolly return for Dublin

Jim Gavin is remaining tight-lipped on the prospects of Diarmuid Connolly featuring in Dublin’s All-Ireland football semi-final meeting with Tyrone in Croke Park on Sunday week, writes Brendan O'Brien.

Connolly was suspended for 12 weeks as a result of his altercation with linesman Ciaran Brannigan during the Leinster Championship game against Carlow back in June - but that ban runs out the night before the Tyrone encounter.

Connolly has, under rule, been officially banned from taking part in any collective training and other GAA activities and has therefore missed the comfortable victories over Westmeath, Kildare and Monaghan.

The Dublin manager was sparing with his replies on the subject when asked whether the St Vincent’s forward was now back in contention for a role in the last-four engagement.

“Yeah,we just have to wait and see as we get closer to the game,” he said.

Gavin was far more forthcoming after the Leinster semi-final defeat of Westmeath when, in a post-match press conference, he expressed his displeasure with both RTÉ and Sky and complained that the player’s good name had been “attacked”.

He also made the claim that there had been similar incidents in other games which had received nothing like the same attention from either the disciplinary authorities or the pundits.

There was no desire to go into all that again this morning with Gavin swerving the invitation to talk about whether there had been any further incidents or disciplinary issues in the weeks since which might have backed up those assertions.

“I’m not going to get into that today. My focus is purely on Tyrone and whatever happened in the past is gone for us now and the team’s focus is purely on a massive challenge against Tyrone in an All-Ireland semi-final.”

Dublin go into the Tyrone game with a full panel now that Connolly is available again with Gavin reporting no injuries issues.

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