Meath’s Burke bitten on finger

Dublin's Eoghan O'Gara gets up off the ground after clashing with  Meath's  Michael Burke  during yesterday's Leinster SFC final in Croke Park. Picture: Inpho

Dublin last night refused to comment on Mick O’Dowd’s allegation that one of their players bit Mickey Burke.

In what is the third such allegation to beset Jim Gavin’s camp in 15 months, the Meath manager claimed the substitute was bitten on the finger during the second half of yesterday’s Leinster final.

O’Dowd had finished his post-match press conference only to return to the briefing room under the Hogan Stand minutes later to announce that he wanted to report “a biting incident”.

He told the press that he was “extremely disappointed” on learning of the injury. “I’ve just come back to the dressing room after speaking to you and I see the doctor dealing with his finger and he’s gone to the Dublin dressing room to talk to the Dublin doctor because there’s a protocol to deal with in terms of a bite, in terms of blood transferring from one person to another.”

The alleged bite appears to have taken place in or around a melee in the 63rd minute after Eoghan O’Gara tackled Kevin Reilly.

Burke, O’Gara and Paddy O’Rourke were all shown yellow cards by referee Padraig Hughes after he consulted with some of his match officials.

Burke jumped onto the team bus following the game with the middle finger of his left hand bandaged.

A surprised Gavin, who spoke to the media after both of O’Dowd’s offerings, said he was unaware of any biting claim.

“This game? Well I don’t know anything about that. That’s news to me!”

Gavin would have been giving TV and radio interviews at the time Burke had entered the Dublin dressing room.

Dublin remained tight-lipped on the matter last night but a third biting allegation will be a worrying one for the All-Ireland champions.

In January, Jason Whelan was banned for eight weeks arising from a Leinster Council investigation “into Dublin’s O’Byrne Cup game against DCU. Whelan was found to have inflicted injury recklessly”.

In Dublin’s Division 1 game in Donegal in April of last year, Kevin O’Brien escaped a suspension when Paddy McBrearty chose not to give evidence to the Central Hearings Committee. Donegal had stated McBrearty had been bitten during the game and GAA director general Páraic Duffy later stated it was a matter of fact McBrearty had suffered the injury.

Incidentally, Hughes also refereed that game in Ballybofey and the Central Competitions Control Committee will today await his match report before deciding if it will take action retrospectively.

There was also some controversy prior to throw-in when Diarmuid Connolly refused to shake Paddy O’Rourke’s hand.

The Dublin forward chose not to shake the hand of the Meath goalkeeper as part of the “Give Respect, Get Respect” pre-match initiative. Earlier this year, O’Rourke posted a tweet in which he made reference to Connolly’s court appearance on an assault charge.


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