TV pundit Michael Duignan highlighted a number of episodes which Dempsey admits were “unseemly” on The Sunday Game. But 1996 All-Ireland SHC medallist Dempsey, another regular RTÉ contributor, insists that Duignan is guilty of an “over the top” reaction to events at Parnell Park.
TV footage confirmed that Wexford Andrew Shore deserved his red card for a reckless pull on Ryan O’Dwyer – with captain Garrett Sinnott lucky to escape with a yellow card for a similar challenge on Peter Kelly.
But former Offaly star Duignan also singled out an episode involving Conor McCormack and Shore, which could lead to retrospective punishment for the Dublin forward.
Dempsey said: “I feel that laying the blame on one side completely, instead of a little bit on both, is unfair.
“It was unseemly and that’s the bottom line but Andrew Shore is not a dirty player. And I hope amidst the furore that he’s not made a scapegoat. There were a couple of extenuating circumstances.”
Dempsey doesn’t believe that Liam Dunne’s players have been given enough credit for their display in the drawn Wexford Park encounter. Dempsey said: “Over the last two weeks, the feedback from the media has not been very kind to Wexford. There was an overreaction to the standard of the (first) game. Wexford are a Division 1B team trying to get back up I was happy enough with the way they performed last Saturday night also. I thought Michael Duignan was over the top. That was an overreaction. It’s about expectations. We’re not at the standard of Kilkenny or Tipperary but this negativity is not helping us.”
Both the Wexford county management and county board have declined to comment on Duignan’s criticism.