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Tense Exchange Between Kieran McGeeney And BBC Journo After Armagh Loss

Tense Exchange Between Kieran McGeeney And BBC Journo After Armagh Loss
Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney
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Armagh and Galway lit up the gaelic football championship this afternoon but unfortunately the fracas at fulltime dominates the discourse about the game.

Damien Comer was eye-gouged by a member of the Armagh squad and two red cards were shown.

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney said he didn't "condone" what happened after the game when speaking to RTÉ, however he warned against 'trial by social media'.

In his postmatch press conference, Kieran McGeeney was again thinking of 'trial by social media' during an intriguing exchange about discipline in the GAA with BBC journalist Mark Sidebottom.

"I know how it started but once it starts then it can get out of control."

"It is not a nice part and I wouldn't want to see it, but again trial by social media is a very poor way to go.

"It showed the last time that if people had actually sat down and watched the video they might have got it right instead of listening to people."


Sidebottom then asked if there is an onus on the player to not get involved. McGeeney put the question back on the BBC journalist.


"What happens if somebody pushes you?" he asked.  "Do you push back? What would you do? What would you do? I'm asking, it is a very simple question." 

Sidebottom replied by trying to place McGeeney's hypothetical question in the context of today's incident. But McGeeney tried to bring things back to his overarching, primal question.


"If somebody pushed you, would you push them back? It is a yes or a no."

When Sidebottom chose not to give a yes or no answer, McGeeney said: "If you are not going to answer my questions, why should I answer yours?"

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney debates with BBC journalist

Sidebottom, to his credit, did not shirk McGeeney's questioning and there was a fascinating exchange between the two in GAA media room.


McGeeney: "I'm just asking you as a person, a very simple question."

Sidebottom: "I suppose it would depend on circumstances and the lead I was given by a manager or an equivalent in that situation"

McGeeney: "I'm just asking you as a person."

Sidebottom: "If somebody pushed me?"

McGeeney: "Yeah."

Sidebottom: "It would just depend on circumstances, it's not black and white."

McGeeney ended by saying he is happy with the GAA to punish the offenders "as long as everyone is treated in the same way."

You can watch the whole exchange here on the BBC website.

The GAA's disciplinary system will be again under the spotlight. There are questions about the red cards handed out to Aidan Nugent and Sean Kelly, though the GAA told The Sunday Game both men were sent off for "contributing to meleé".

David Coldrick's referees report would make for fascinating reading.



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