The Association’s director general was livid with the Armagh native’s intimation that Johnston’s switch from Cavan had been protracted because he wasn’t sneaky and hadn’t told lies.
Following Sunday’s victory over Cavan, McGeeney described his new player as “a good fella, he is 100%. He 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 and different things and Seánie’s biggest problem was that he was honest from the word ‘go’.”
Speaking at the qualifier draw on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Duffy said the GAA’s handling of the case was “beyond reproach“.
“I know Kieran McGeeney very well but I have to say I am extremely disappointed with those comments.
“The facts of the matter are the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee), as is their role, examined the transfer on two occasions and it’s their job to establish whether or not the player is a genuinely permanent resident in Kildare. “I think the proof of the integrity of the process was, despite the reservations of the CCCC and many people in the GAA, the CAC (Central Appeals Committee) actually granted the transfer on a procedural matter and the player is now playing with Kildare.
“The integrity of the process is beyond reproach and there was nothing sneaky or dishonest with the way the GAA dealt with this matter.”
The GAA are also angry it has been suggested the rule was introduced at late notice to foil Johnston appearing for Kildare this year.
Cork secretary Frank Murphy had been handed the brief of reviewing club transfer rules long before Johnston had first applied to switch from Cavan Gaels to St Kevin’s.
It was with the yo-yo transfers of players to represent London and New York every year before returning to play for their home clubs in Ireland that the rule was introduced.
Meanwhile, GAA sources admit it was “not an easy decision” to move Kildare’s qualifier game to Portlaoise. The Lilywhites were entitled to home advantage against Limerick but with a crowd of more than the stadium’s capacity expected, the game was fixed for O’Moore Park.