Monaghan stitched up, says angry McEneaney

Eamonn McEneaney says Monaghan feel they have been “stitched up” and he personally has “very little faith” in the GAA disciplinary process.

The Monaghan County Board yesterday elected not to go to the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) for a second time after the GAA’s Central Appeals Committee (CAC) upheld the decision to fix their Division 2 game against Galway in Longford on Sunday.

Stressing that he is more disappointed than angry, McEneaney said it was with reluctance they chose not to pursue their case.

“We have taken advice on it and we have decided not to proceed to the DRA again and that’s the end of the matter,” said McEneaney.

“We’re all disappointed with the way this ended up because we feel one way or another we’ve been stitched up.

“We’re the ones who have ended up with two games at home and five away despite the fact one of the away games is counted as neutral but it’s still not a home venue for us.”

The Castleblayney man has been left disenchanted by the saga, which has seen the Central Hearing Committee (CHC) strip Monaghan of home advantage for a second time.

“The only question was did the punishment fit the crime and I think the DRA found the last time that it didn’t and sent it back.

“Personally, I have to say — and this is not speaking for the Monaghan County Board — I would have very little faith in the system after what has happened to us.”

McEneaney maintains Monaghan have been made an example of by the CHC, who imposed the neutral venue decision after the DRA had quashed their earlier judgment of forcing Monaghan to play a home game at their opponents’ venue.

He feels a dangerous precedent has now been set whereby GAA disciplinary chiefs can introduce new punishments without prior warning.

“We were only concerned about what the implications were for us, but I suppose the long-term implications of this means there isn’t really any barrier on what type of punishment can be introduced at any particular time for any particular offence.

“If somebody decides to take two points off you, they can. If somebody decides you should be deducted a point, they can, because there isn’t really any deterrent.

“These penalties weren’t stipulated before the start of the national league. Therefore, a precedent has been created whereby they can introduce a penalty which isn’t stipulated.”

McEneaney reiterated his opposition to violence in games such as the determining melee that broke out between Monaghan and Kildare in last month’s Division 2 games in Clones.

However, he added: “We feel we have paid the price for something the referee described as a scuffle and we didn’t have anyone sent off.

“I don’t condone the pushing and shoving and all of the interaction that there was by the different parties. We want to see that disappear from the game.

“But I don’t think this was the right way to go about it and using us to make that point.”


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