Derrytresk ban controversy continues13, February 2012 | By: brendan64 | Comments Off on Derrytresk ban controversy continues
Controversy over the treatment of Derrytresk has continued to rage as the club comes to terms with its agonising defeat in the All-Ireland junior football final and a five-year ban from the competition.
- Club chair Barney Campbell: ‘We didn’t get a fair trial and it’s because of the media’
- Mickey Harte: Irish media ‘nothing short of disgraceful’
- Irish Times: Derrytresk ‘petty and ungracious in defeat’
- GAA president rejects claims Derrytresk were treated unfairly
Derrytresk lost by just by just one point to Galway side Clonbur in Sunday’s final at Croke Park. The club now faces a five-year ban from the competition due to a brawl during their semi-final match.
Derrytresk manager Paul Hughes refused to speak to most journalists after Sunday’s tight match, with club chairman Barney Campbell launching a scathing attack on the Irish media.
“We’re down seven men today because of the media,” he said, according to the Irish Times.
“We didn’t get a fair trial and it’s because of the media that we’re in this situation. What happened happened but nothing would have been made of it if it wasn’t for the media so we’ll not be talking to them. That’s all we’re saying on it.”
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte also blamed “media hysteria” for ensuring Derrytresk “couldn’t possibly get a fair trial”, branding their punishments as “draconian”.
But the claims of unfair treatment have been wholly rejected by GAA president Christy Cooney.
“I don’t accept that any club that comes before us will be treated unfairly or unjustly,” Mr Cooney said, according to the Irish Examiner.
“We have disciplinary committees that do the job in a very fair manner and Derrytresk were treated on a similar basis to anyone else. They got a very fair hearing, and the Hearings Committee gave out suspensions which ultimately were appropriate.”
Irish Times reporter Malachy Clerkin said in his match report that Derrytresk were not “particularly gracious in defeat” after Hughes refused to speak to him.
Commenting on the snub, he said: “It was needless and it was petty and it soured a day when Derrytresk had done plenty to rebuild their reputation.”
Mickey Harte was adamant that the media has had a negative role to play in events.
“The extremely subjective nature of the reporting that has gone on since Derrytresk qualified for the All-Ireland club JFC final has been nothing short of disgraceful,” Harte said in The Irish News.
“The hysteria drummed up by sections of the print media allied to the numerous phone-ins to radio stations would have you believe this was some kind of slaughter of the innocents, with all culpability resting squarely on the shoulders of the Tyrone and Ulster champions.
“Of course the flashpoint incident was unsavoury and cannot be condoned. However, to draw all one’s conclusions from that particular incident and the media surge that focused on that alone does a huge disservice to what was overall, a most disciplined performance by the Derrytresk unit on the day and to the good name of the people and community they represent.
“The incident on the sideline and in the vicinity of the Derrtresk management and subs was initiated by an aggressive act by one of the opposition players. For sure, Derrytresk personnel reacted in kind and the situation became inflamed. That was wrong.
“However, after no more than 10 seconds, the confrontational nature of the incident subsided and there was more activity of a sensible nature separating those initially involved rather than a fanning of flames.”
Harte said that the full match statistics showed up the “blinkered vision” of commentators, the Central Competitions’ Control Committee and the Central Hearings Committee, and concluded that Derrytresk’s punishment “absolutely disproportionate”.
He said: “In the current economic climate, to level a fine of €5,000 is crippling. To eliminate eight players from the chance to participate in perhaps their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can only be described as excessive in the extreme.
“Despite the fact their appeal has released one of the suspended players and reduced the monetary penalty to €2,500, the new sanction on banning the club from the provincial and All-Ireland series for five years is draconian.
“Derrytresk as a club, or their individual players who became involved in the 10-second flashpoint brawl, couldn’t possibly get a fair trial. The incident cannot be condoned but neither was it the national crisis some would have us believe it was.”