GAA to probe bite claim as ‘blase’ RTÉ slammed

The GAA are expected to launch an investigation into Meath manager Mick O’Dowd’s claim that Mickey Burke was bitten by a Dublin player, after the player’s claim was mentioned in the referee’s report.

Both counties received a copy of the report yesterday, in which Pádraig Hughes mentioned the Meath defender had informed him he was bitten.

As neither the referee nor his match officials saw the alleged incident, Hughes could not take action.

However, the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC), who did not met yesterday, can now look at the incident and may take action retrospectively.

The news comes as former Meath captain Anthony Moyles questioned The Sunday Game’s analysis of the bite allegation in the Leinster final, claiming it was “blase” and “dangerous”.

On Twitter, Moyles took exception to a number of comments made on the programme including Owen Mulligan’s “If somebody puts their finger in your mouth, what are you going to do? Blow it out? Do you know what I mean?”

He wrote: “Shocking analysis re biting.. wouldnt matter what team it was but 2 condone biting in #GAA regardless of situation is a joke.”

Speaking to the Irish Examiner yesterday, Moyles expanded on his argument: “It was a jovial kind of having a laugh about it. I was just thinking, ‘if you were trying to set examples for kids they’re watching this and...’”

The Sunday Game pundit Dermot Earley had earlier asked rhetorically, “If there’s a hand around your mouth or whatever it is what are you going to do?”

“I was kind of going ‘Jesus, lads’,” said Moyles, an analyst himself with Newstalk. “It wouldn’t have made a difference to me whether it happened to a Dublin man by a Meath man. If it happened up in Clones, I would be saying the same thing but fellas were trying to make it out that it was a Dublin-Meath thing. It wasn’t. It was about the analysis, the ‘ah sure, don’t worry about it, we’ll move on’, was very blase.”

Moyles categorically rejects any suggestions he is defending Burke or Meath but simply directing his remarks towards the three pundits Mulligan, Earley, Tomás Ó Sé and presenter Des Cahill.

“People will be saying ‘aw, it’s just sore losers’ but if the shoe was on the other foot and Mickey was on the other end, I would be saying the exact same thing.

“My point is purely from an analysis point of view. It wasn’t like it was the first time the three lads or Des saw it.

“Tomás is excellent on it and the two other boys are maybe finding their feet and one guy says one thing and everyone kind of agrees. I just thought for RTÉ to develop this line, it was pretty dangerous.”

If RTÉ wished to play down the story, Moyles says, they should have taken a different course of action.

“If you are going to go down that road it was probably better not to highlight it at all and say ‘there was an incident but we don’t know the full facts about it. We don’t condone that sort of thing. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of pushing and pulling and every now and again a lad might get an auld box or a kick but this kind of stuff is not good for the game’.

“Boom. End of. That’s the way I felt it should have been dealt with.”


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