Dublin’s All-Ireland winning forward Dean Rock has given his take on the recent spate of violence in the GAA outlining that it’s something that would “turn people away from the game” if it continued to occur on a regular basis.
Speaking at the AIG skills challenge event on Monday, Rock was keen to point out that instances of violence have no place in either of the GAA codes.
“It certainly has no place in the game,” insisted Rock.
“It’s something that would turn people away from the game on a regular basis. I don’t think many parents would want their kids playing the game if that’s the way it was going to go, it needs to be stamped out and stamped out quickly because it has no place in Gaelic football or hurling.”
There’s no doubt that the brawl culture that seems to have crept into the game is becoming a huge problem, and is threatening to tarnish all the good that the GAA represents.
Some detractors have said that the people recording the brawls and sharing them online have been a massive part of the issue, but Rock feels that they’ve been a big aid to referees in helping to stamp violence out.
“Cameras are a big thing because you can’t get away with anything. If you do say something you have to stand in front of the committee or board and justify what you said.
“I don’t think it’s changed too much. I never really noticed too much mouthing on the pitch whenever I was playing it was just more back and forth chat with the opposition players more than anything. It’s never really been a massive issue for me or something I’ve noticed.”
The Ballymun Kickhams man is coming off another incredibly successful season with Dublin, picking up his fourth Sam Maguire medal in as many years.
Despite his strong season, Rock was not included in this year’s All-Star team, which included seven of Jim Gavin’s All-Ireland winning charges.
Rock, however, was keen to outline that the Dublin mindset has always been about winning as a collective as opposed to individual accolades.
“It’s all about winning as a group and winning as a team,” said Rock.
“Thankfully we played in three tournaments last year and we won all three as a team and ultimately that’s the most important thing.”
There has also been a lot of discussion surrounding the choice of goalkeeper, with Monaghan’s Rory Beggan being given the nod ahead of All-Ireland winning Dubs captain Stephen Cluxton.
Rock feels that although the pair are neck in neck in his opinion, Cluxton is the kind of player who isn’t going to let the All-Star snub affect him.
“They’re two great keepers and I’m sure there wasn’t much in it. You never know what these panels and committees are discussing like that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I’m sure Stephen wouldn’t begrudge anyone of winning an award.
“He’s concentrating on doing what he can for us as a team and I’m sure he’s not going to let something let that affect him.”
The AIG Skills Challenge brought together the All Ireland Champions, Dublin and the World Rugby Champions, the New Zealand All Blacks for a head to head sporting challenge in Castleknock Golf Club. AIG is a proud sponsor of Dublin GAA and New Zealand Rugby.