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Páraic Duffy admits that 'bitegate' has been damaging for the GAA

Updated: Sunday, 12 May 2013 16:50 | Comments

Páraic Duffy: 'I think everyone has to look at the part they played'
Páraic Duffy: 'I think everyone has to look at the part they played'

GAA Director General Páraic Duffy has said that the ‘bitegate’ incident was handled properly by the Association but admitted that it has been damaging for it.

The Central Competitions Control Committee had proposed a three-match ban for Kevin O'Brien of Dublin arising from an alleged biting incident involving Donegal's Paddy McBrearty, but this was revoked by the Central Hearings Committee.

McBrearty, 19, didn't attend the hearing and the CHC decided that the alleged biting offence was not proven.

Speaking on Sunday Sport at the launch of RTÉ’s Championship coverage, Duffy said that the Association’s procedures were robust and fair.

He said: "It is unacceptable that a player did suffer a bite and that no-one was held to account and I think everyone has to look at the part they played in that. In terms of our processes I believe they were fair, they were robust and I think we could not have done any more. The case collapsed because of lack of evidence and that’s the reality of it."

A lack of TV evidence or independent witnesses meant the case was difficult a difficult one for the Central Competitions Controls Committee, but Duffy did not blame McBrearty for choosing not to testify.

"It is unacceptable that a player did suffer a bite and that no-one was held to account" - Páraic Duffy

Commenting on the CCCC, Duffy added: "They tried to deal with it as best they could. They laid the charge down. But short of someone admitting it and owning up to it, the only other way of producing an outcome was that the player would attend (a hearing) and say ‘I was bitten by....’. He chose not to do that, and that’s the player’s right to do that.

Paraic Duffy looks ahead to Championship 2013 on the Sunday Sport Championship Special


"From the GAA’s point of view, I accept that it has been damaging. It has damaged the reputation of the Association that a player suffered a bite and nobody was held to account. But it certainly was not the fault of the procedures."

GAA President Liam O’Neill was criticised by Donegal manager Jim McGuinness for comments he made in the wake of the incident.

Duffy commented: "The point Liam O’Neill made in the aftermath was very simply that he was disappointed, and I would share that disappointment because nobody has been held to account for what happened to Paddy McBrearty."

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