Eight-time All-Ireland winner Pat Spillane says he was shocked and angry when he heard that Dublin had broken the GAA's own regulations on training during the Covid-19 restrictions.

The breach means that manager Dessie Farrell will be suspended for 12 weeks thus missing the entirety of their Allianz League campaign.

It follows a similar length of punishment for Cork manager Ronan McCarthy, an eight-week ban for Down's Paddy Tally, while Monaghan manager Séamus McEnaney could miss the first round of the Ulster SFC when he is handed down an expected 12-week suspension.

Speaking on the RTÉ GAA podcast, Kerry legend Spillane said he couldn't believe it when he found out about Dublin's indiscretion.

"When I heard the Dubs were breaking the rules, I was stunned. I was shocked, I was amazed," he said.

"With the Dubs, everything is managed. It's all about protecting the brand. It’s all about controlling the narrative. No-one knows what is happening inside of the camp.

"It’s a bit like the brightest boy in the class suddenly being caught cheating, or you suddenly realise that the local parish priest has a wife and family in the next county.

"You look up to the Dubs as these are your role models."

Collective inter-county GAA training is set to resume on Monday, with the draws for the championship set to take place early next week on RTÉ.

With a return set to take place so soon Spillane said it was foolish for Dublin to break the rules.

"After being shocked, I was angry," he continued.

"This particular training session, and it mightn't have been the first, took place less than 12 hours after the Government had introduced a new road map and at last, announced that on 19 April, inter-county training could start.

"Anecdotally, you know a lot of counties are at it. In Ireland, when it comes to cute hoorism, and whataboutery, we’re world champions. Our get-out-of-jail card is, 'well, everyone else is doing it so why can’t we do it’.

"It was wrong. It was bad, it broke the laws of the country and GAA regulations

"The GAA season hasn’t started yet, inter-county training hasn't started yet, but four of our top managers are suspended and justifiably so."


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Looking ahead, Spillane isn't expecting the backlash against the Metropolitans to impact their form on the field.

"In one sense, they were wrong, wrong, wrong. In another sense, there is no danger with Covid transmission outdoors. It was much-a-do about nothing.

"It won't affect them as footballers or a team, but the brand has been damaged to a certain extent."

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