Dublin manager Jim Gavin has no regrets over his refusal to take part in one-on-one post match interviews in defence of Diarmuid Connolly after Dublin’s hammering of Westmeath. He feels he acted appropriately for the sake of Connolly.
Connolly was hit with a twelve-week ban for pushing a linesman in the All-Ireland champions’ win over Carlow at the Leinster SFC quarter-final stage earlier this summer. The suspension will be lifted only in time for the St. Vincent’s clubman to be available for selection for this year’s All-Ireland semi-final, if the Dubs make it that far. A win over Kildare on Sunday will take them there.
Gavin refused to speak to RTÉ and Sky Sports after the dismantling of Westmeath in a stance against the analysis of the Connolly incident against Carlow. He later explained at an open press conference that he felt the “good name” of the All Star forward had been tarnished by the remarks made by pundits in the aftermath of Connolly’s incursion, particularly on The Sunday Game.
The Dubs boss took umbrage with Pat Spillane sharing his belief that Connolly deserved the twelve-week punishment under no uncertain circumstances for shoving the linesman, Ciaran Branagan, on the national broadcasting station before the referee’s report on the game, and more importantly on that particular incident, had been filed.
This morning at a pre-Leinster final press event, Gavin admitted that he will be fulfilling his usual media obligations after the match on Sunday, but does hope that his stance a fortnight ago will have made the Gaelic football pundits in question sit up, take notice and learn a lesson.
The Round Towers Clondalkin man felt as though he was left with no choice but to shun his interviews and give broadcasters the cold shoulder in retaliation to their reaction to the incident.
“All I can say on that is that hopefully the lessons have been learnt, and from my part, if I believe that a player has been disrespected, and that Croke Park don’t step in, and protect his good name, I’ve no option but to react as I did the last day,” Gavin said.
The Boys In Blue bainisteoir reiterated his defence of his player’s name and public image, citing that they must carry on with their every day lives like anyone else and that personal criticism is a step too far.
“Inter-county players have to go out on Monday morning and seek out a living, and if their name has been damaged by that, I just feel that is above and beyond what Gaelic Games are about,” he expressed.
“I’m accountable to Dublin GAA and the Dublin players, and that’s where my focus will remain.”
Quotes via The42.ie.
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