GAA president O'Neill hits back over Grimley claim

Young members of a band were ushered to safety as players of Armagh and Cavan fought before the match
Young members of a band were ushered to safety as players of Armagh and Cavan fought before the Ulster SFC match

GAA president Liam O'Neill has rejected the suggestion of Armagh boss Paul Grimley that he influenced the decision to ban three Orchard players.

They were suspended after pre-match fighting against Cavan last month.

"The media did influence Liam O'Neill and Paraic Duffy and CCC and put pressure on them and they reacted as they normally do," said Grimley.

O'Neill denied having any input in the disciplinary process, saying he "wasn't happy" with Grimley's comments.

Andy Mallon, Brendan Donaghy and Kieran Toner were handed one-match bans along with Cavan's Martin Dunne and Fergal Flanagan.

The CCCC also fined both counties 5000 euro following the incident.

O'Neill was quick to defend himself and GAA director-general Duffy.

"Páraic and I have no hand, act or part in discipline, the appointment of referees or match officiating of any sort," he added.

"I don't mind putting on record that I have never spoken to the CCC on any discipline matter since I became president . . . nor have I have commented to anybody in officialdom on the performance of referees.

"I just made the decision when I became president that we appoint people to do those jobs, I do my job and they do theirs. It would be wrong of either Páraic or I to do that and it just doesn't arise.

"He [Grimley] made an accusation, I'm not sure why he did . . . I certainly had no influence whatsoever. I wasn't happy with what he said."

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