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Dublin GAA Chief Says Players Were 'Arraigned For Treason' Over Training Fiasco

Dublin GAA Chief Says Players Were 'Arraigned For Treason' Over Training Fiasco
By Colman Stanley Updated

Dublin GAA CEO John Costello has published his report to the Dublin AGM, and he aired a number of interesting opinions, specifically in the direction of the media and those who question Dublin's funding..

The main point of discussion was the controversy surrounding the Dublin footballer’s training session at the Innisfails GAA club in Balgriffin last March.

The photos of a number of Dessie Farrell's men training appeared on the front page of the Irish Independent on the first of April, and Dublin were strongly criticised for breaking Covid protocols amid the lockdown.

Costello made sure to acknowledge that he agreed that Dublin had made a mistake, saying that his words were “not any attempt to defend the indefensible.” But he also made it clear that he felt the media coverage of the event was excessive.

“However, one thing that is worth mentioning on reflection was the level, intensity and tone of some of the media commentary – and this, most certainly, is not any attempt to defend the indefensible.

“The tone, at times, was one of ‘these lads should be arraigned for treason’ and that they were guilty of burgling the bank of youth from the young citizens of the country.

“For almost two weeks, some media organisations turned over every stone to see if they could squeeze yet more mileage out of the story.

“Was the same attitude applied to other teams who were also in breach? Or to a team from a different sporting code who broke restrictions to go outside the jurisdiction for social events?

“And that’s before even mentioning any political ‘socials’.  Most certainly not. Would ‘The Hawks against the Dubs?’ be an aphorism for the time?

“Then the following doozy of a headline was brought to my attention: “Most of us don’t have a garden big enough for 50 guests – but who hasn’t fallen off lockdown wagon like Nathan Carter?”

“Certainly, we live in very interesting times!”

He also wrote on the subject of the document entitled “Fair and Equal Funding for all GAA clubs - Addressing the Dublin GAA imbalance" that was distributed by ex-Westmeath footballer John Connellan.

While addressing Connellan directly, Costello wrote that "you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts."

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"There seems to be some information deficit issues with regard to large sections of his, and other publications. It would be remiss of me not to address them here, not to do so would possibly lead to some cognitive bias on the subjective matter."

Costello noted that a large sum of the €1.3 million funding given to Dublin goes towards game promotions officers whom he noted are “not some crack team akin to Eastern Bloc coaches who hot-house young players and turn them into All-Ireland winners.”

Connellan fired back on Twitter this evening.

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See Also: Éire Óg Ended Loughmore-Castleiney's Football Run With Two Superb Goals

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