Down secretary Diarmuid Cahill has hit out at the GAA’s disciplinary process, which he believes is influenced by TV coverage.
Aidan Brannigan and Conor Garvey were suspended during their Ulster SFC campaign on the basis of video evidence and Cahill felt, because the incidents were captured by TV cameras, the GAA acted on it, whereas other similar offences not taped were ignored.
The county went to the Central Appeals Committee following Conor Garvey’s suspension for the Ulster final. At the time, manager James McCartan said they accepted Brannigan was in the wrong but intended to fight the charge against Garvey, which they lost.
In his annual report before the Down County Board convention, Cahill felt both players had been penalised because they were caught on TV and called on the GAA to review the process.
“There was a pre-match blow when Conor Garvey was cited over an incident in the win over Monaghan and we were without the Mayobridge man for the final,” he wrote about the Ulster final.
“I have addressed the clubs previously in relation to my personal disappointment as to how this matter was dealt with and I do not wish to dwell on it again, other than to say I would like consistency.
“We in Down had two players fall foul of what appeared to be trial by television, whilst others who were fortunate not to have their game televised may escaped censure. We must be consistent, there has to be a better mechanism for identifying and dealing with instances of foul play whether the game is televised or not.
“If the referee and his officials — he has a team of seven people with him on a match day — see fit to take no action, then should the matter be closed?
“Should the GAA instigate a panel of which three people would sit on a Monday morning after a series of games and examine any contentious issues? The panel would consist of former players, administrators and referees and they would be the body who would make the judgment call and make subsequent recommendations.”
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