KERRY captain Paul Galvin last night threw himself at the mercy of GAA disciplinary chiefs after his weekend bust-up with referee Paddy Russell.
Galvin, who faces a two or three month ban for knocking Russell’s notebook from his hands and verbally abusing a linesman in Sunday’s Munster championship win over Clare, apologised for his actions and admitted that his behaviour and reaction was wrong.
However, the Finuge man refused to reveal what sparked his second half tirade with the Tipperary official.
“The exact details of what happened I don’t want to get into because I don’t think this is the right place to deal with that,”. he said. “It was born out of a huge level of frustration for me.
Clearly what happened was wrong and I was out of order to do what I did.
“And I regret what I did.
“I’d like to apologise to the match officials, the Kerry management and my teammates, and the Kerry supporters, who I feel like I’ve let down.”
Galvin accepted full responsibility for his actions, but insisted it was borne out of frustration at a lengthy injury lay-off which forced him to miss Kerry’s league campaign.
“I do, I do,” he told RTÉ, when asked if he accepted responsibility for his actions. “I’ve no problem holding my hands up and admitting I was wrong and my reaction was wrong. But again, as I said, it was born out of huge frustration. This year has personally been hugely frustrating — I’m captain of Kerry and I haven’t kicked a ball since the All-Ireland final last year.
“It was a big day for me, a huge honour, and I was really looking forward to it — I’d missed all the league campaign and I’d been training on my own — and I just felt it was all taken away and my gesture was one of frustration more than anything else.
“But it was wrong and I shouldn’t have reacted as I did.”
Galvin, a teacher in St Brendan’s, Killarney, also agreed that his actions set a bad example to youngsters, especially as more than 3,000 children were allowed free entry to the clash on Sunday.
“Of course it sets a bad example. I spent all last winter training a school team in Killarney, in the Sem, to a Hogan Cup. I can’t condone what I did, it sets a terrible example to kids and I shouldn’t have done it.
“But at the same time, as I said, it was born out of a huge level of frustration. Obviously, for any kids that were there it set a poor example and as a trainer of teams it does set a bad example to young players.”
The incident isn’t Galvin’s first brush with controversy, and he admitted that his reputation may influence referees and officials.
“It’s possibly a factor with me at times, I think there have been occasions where my reputation has got me a card, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’ve played championship for four years, I’ve played in almost thirty games for Kerry and before yesterday I only had one red card.”
However, a chink of light on an otherwise black day for Kerry coach Pat O’Shea was the medical confirmation that centre forward Declan O’Sullivan suffered “no structural damage” to his knee in Sunday’s victory over Clare.
An x-ray on Sunday night and an MRI scan yesterday satisfied Kerry’s management that O’Sullivan cannot be ruled out for the Munster final against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on July 6.
The Dromid Pearses man was stretchered off after taking a knock in the second half, and was immediately taken to Kerry General Hospital.
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