Monday 24 October 2016

GAA’s disciplinary system is fit for purpose, believes Jim Gavin

Diarmuid Connolly is sent off
Diarmuid Connolly is sent off

JIM GAVIN insists that the GAA’s disciplinary system is “fit for purpose” despite the mostly-negative reaction – outside of Dublin – to Diarmuid Connolly’s successful appeal to the Disputes Resolution Authority last week.

Connolly was eventually cleared to face Mayo in last Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final replay in the early hours of that morning.

He had failed to have his red card from the drawn match rescinded by either the CHC or the CAC, but a last-ditch trip to the DRA ultimately proved successful. While the full DRA judgement is still awaited, a GAA statement last Saturday revealed that the panel’s decision “related to lack of fair procedure afforded to Mr Connolly at an early stage in the GAA’s internal disciplinary process which unfairly hindered the preparations for, and presentation of, his defence.”

The Dublin manager has now closed the book on the saga by saying: “The disciplinary process that the GAA set up is there to ensure its members get due process. That’s the process that we took. I think it’s fit for purpose. We got over that issue and are just looking forward to an All-Ireland final.”

Even though the reprieved All Star failed to sparkle in the replay, Gavin concluded: “Personally, having been by his side, he managed it very well. He’s a very a mature man now. He took a very balanced approach to it. On a personal level I was very happy for him.”

Meanwhile, Dublin GAA chiefs face a race against time to produce representatives for this year’s AIB Leinster club senior football championship.

The county board this week unveiled a proposed club championship programme for September and October, following on from Dublin’s replay triumph over Mayo to secure passage to the All-Ireland final on September 20.

And that programme underlines just how tight the schedule is. The Dublin SFC final is pencilled in for the weekend of November 1 - just a week before the capital’s flagship football champions are due to face their Louth counterparts away.

It goes without saying that any replays, either in the Dublin SFC or even the All-Ireland final against Kerry, could throw a major spanner in the schedule and leave Dublin struggling to fulfil that November 8 date in Drogheda.

However, a Leinster spokesperson confirmed that the provincial council has not yet received any request for leeway from Dublin.

With Ciarán Kilkenny and Emmett Ó Conghaile focusing on the small matter of Kerry, the outstanding Dublin SFC first round clash between Castleknock and Lucan has been put back until September 30. Second round ties are scheduled for the weekend of October 4 with quarter-finals fixed for the weekend of October 18 and semi-finals for the following weekend.

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