GAA launch investigation into All-Ireland final 'tunnel bust up'

The two teams line up before throw-in at Croke Park
The two teams line up before throw-in at Croke Park

An investigation has been launched into an incident before yesterday’s All Ireland final when Dublin and Mayo players came together in the tunnel as they entered the Croke Park pitch.

Audio from Midlands radio commentator John Casey, which has since been deleted, surfaced online today and described the scenes as players from both sides put it up to each other ahead of the drawn All Ireland Final.

In the clip, Casey said the incident “scared” him and stated that Mayo had waited for the Dubs to come out of their dressing room but tonight, speaking on Game On, he clarified that that was not the case.

“I was misinformed initially. I was told the Mayo players were waiting in the tunnel for Dublin to get out on the pitch until I happened to get up to my stand position and I realised Dublin were meant to enter the pitch at 2.56,” said Casey.

“Certainly there was a coming together in the tunnel area entering Croke Park.”

Director of Communications for the GAA, Alan Milton, confirmed that Dublin were due to take the field at 2.56 and would be followed by Mayo two minutes later.

Milton also revealed that the incident will be investigated by the CCC.

“I can only quote from the pre-planning perspective and as John (Casey) alluded to a fair deal of planning goes into scheduling who comes out when as you would expect from every single aspect and element of the day,” said Milton on Game On.

“Dublin were scheduled to come out, if I am not mistaken, at 2.56 and Mayo two minutes later. But all I can say is the CCC are investigating this and we are awaiting Conor Lane’s report today.”

Milton admitted the incident was “unsightly” and said he would welcome a discussion about how things could be done differently when the teams enter the pitch.

 “I do think it’s worth making one observation. Obviously it was unsightly and I thought it was unbecoming for the event that is not just a national sporting day but a national day. I wonder do we need to have a discussion about two teams walking out on the field in an orderly fashion.

“I don’t believe tradition in always a good enough excuse not to examine the other options in this case and I just wonder..are you trying to tell me that teams that come out for AFL finals or other sporting events around the world are not equally charged and pumped for the game in question but can walk out side by side?

“I think you can do more with it personally because this is not the first time it’s happened. In fact it happens quite a bit if we are being honest about it but I couldn’t point the finger of blame on anyone until we have examined the full picture in front of us but as soon as that happens you can rest assured it will be dealt with accordingly.”

Via Keville