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training probe GAA poised to declare bans on Dublin and Monaghan managers ‘null and void’ ahead of further investigation

Farrell and McEnaney suspensions set to be declared ‘null and void’ ahead of further investigation


GAA president Larry McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile

GAA president Larry McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile

GAA president Larry McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile

Suspensions imposed on the Dublin and Monaghan managers by their respective counties for admission of breaches of the collective training ban have been declared ‘null and void’ by the GAA in a note to all counties yesterday, the Sunday World understands.

Dublin moved quickly to suspend Dessie Farrell last week for three months after they admitted a breach at the Innisfails GAA club on April 1.

And Monaghan also moved swiftly to impose the same suspension on Seamus McEnaney yesterday when photographic evidence seen by the Irish Independent, which was also passed on to the Department of Justice and the GAA, revealed a training session that Monaghan staged in recent weeks in Corduff GAA club.

McEnaney has admitted a “serious error” and has apologised.

But it is also understood that the counties acted “ultra vires” (beyond their legal power) in applying the bans, according to the GAA Management Committee, which has spelled out that any penalties will ultimately be decided by them.

It’s understood that the committee has wrapped up its investigation into Dublin’s breach, while also launching a fresh one into Monaghan.

It is believed that the committee will impose a three-month suspension on Farrell which will take effect from yesterday, rather than the date on which the Dublin County Board imposed their sanction.

Dublin are also understood to have accepted the GAA Management Committee decision which is expected to be confirmed today. It is also believed that, as part of the punishment, Dublin will not play any home games in
their upcoming league campaign.

GAA president Larry McCarthy admitted the GAA will have to work to repair “reputational damage” arising out of recent collective training breaches by inter-county teams.

Asked about the damage on a call that outlined the master fixture plan for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, McCarthy said there was a “danger” that they could impact on future permissions being given to the GAA by Government after State officials made contact again over this latest breach.

“I think it has done us reputational damage which we are going to have to work to get back,” McCarthy said.

“There is no appetite for any breaches in society at the moment.

“We’ll continue to get that confidence and get that back from the public again. Hopefully, there won’t be any more breaches.

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“Any breaches are going to concern us in terms of talking to the authorities. One of the things that will help us will be April 26 and having kids back and then we can show what we really do in the communities.

“If the breaches occur obviously there is a danger that they will have an impact on us in terms of permissions given to us by the Government. That’s the reality of it.”

It has emerged that there were stern words for county chairpersons on the call yesterday to outline the fixtures plan as to what further breaches could lead to.

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