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Training scandal Former Dublin ace Diarmuid Connolly says Dessie Farrell ban 'a huge overreaction'

Speaking to BoyleSports, the 33-year-old said: "There does have to be a sanction put down, but Dessie Farrell has taken a 12-week ban which is extreme at best"

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Dessie Farrell has been suspended for 12 weeks

Dessie Farrell has been suspended for 12 weeks

Dessie Farrell has been suspended for 12 weeks

Former Dublin GAA star Diarmuid Connolly has said that county manager Dessie Farrell’s sanction a of 12-week ban is “extreme at best.”

At least nine Dublin players were photographed breaking Covid-19 restrictions at a training session earlier this month, resulting in the Dublin GAA issuing a 12-week suspension for Farrell.

The GAA’s Management Committee carried out its own investigation and imposed a fresh 12-week ban effective from Thursday, meaning that he will miss out on their Allianz League Campaign.

Diarmuid Connolly, who retired from Dublin GAA in 2018, said that the backlash from the incident has been a “huge overreaction.”

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A number of Dublin GAA players took part in an unauthorised training session

A number of Dublin GAA players took part in an unauthorised training session

A number of Dublin GAA players took part in an unauthorised training session

Speaking to BoyleSports, the 33-year-old said: “Dublin made a mistake, they’ve apologised for it and they’ve accepted the responsibility. There does have to be a sanction put down, but Dessie Farrell has taken a 12-week ban which is extreme at best.

“With all that is going on in the media at the moment, a GAA team training with nine people was front page news and I don’t think it warrants it, it was a huge overreaction.

“I’m not trying to make light of this either, there are restrictions in place and the whole country has been in lockdown for a long time.

“Dublin have absolutely made a mistake here, but as much as they are portrayed as robots, they are human and they make mistakes like everybody else. They have accepted responsibility now and hopefully we can move on quickly from this,” he continuing.

Connolly questioned why the GAA had their elite status stripped of them, adding that it had been in place this time last year.

He said: “My question to the powers that be is, why was the elite status removed? It’s still there for rugby and soccer and the GAA had elite status this time last year. Only 0.1% of transmission is related to outdoor activity at the moment and there’s also a big question over mental health.

“It’s hard not to be training, but the roadmap is a positive and now we have something to look forward to, hopefully it will give everybody a lift.”

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