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GAA

02nd Jul 2017

Pat Spillane is absolutely spot on in defence of himself over Diarmuid Connolly comments

"Jim, you must be having a laugh"

Darragh Culhane

Did you ever think you’d see the day where most of the nation feels sorry for Pat Spillane?

Jim Gavin refused to speak to broadcast media after his side’s victory over Westmeath last Sunday and in his post match press conference he singled out Pat Spillane for comments made on The Sunday Game about Diarmuid Connolly’s altercation with linesman Ciaran Branagan that led to a 12-week ban.

Gavin said after the game last week:

“What concerned me was the way (Connolly’s) good name was attacked before we even saw the referee’s report.

“We had the national broadcaster in their post-match review. Both Pat Spillane and Colm O’Rourke, particularly Pat, they had a predetermined statement.”

On The Sunday Game, last weekend, both Dessie Dolan and Joe Brolly refused to defend their colleague.

Dolan said that the comments on the incident “look a little bit pointed” suggesting that Spillane’s comments were made because it would be advantageous for Kerry.

Brolly stepped it up a notch, saying:

“You have to say, it was like watching counsel for the prosecution. Pat had everything on but his Kerry blazer and his Kerry tie. I thought to myself after, ‘the CCCC are going to act here’,”

Spillane took to his column in the Sunday World to defend himself and was spot on.

Responding to Gavin, Spillane said:

“As regards Gavin’s comments about freedom of expression and the Irish constitution, all I can say is ‘Jim, you must be having a laugh’. Furthermore, I’m at a total loss to figure out how my former profession as a teacher had, as Gavin suggested, anything to do with my remarks.”

“According to Gavin we should have waited for ‘due process’ before making our comments. So does he expect every media outlet to wait until the Central Hearings Committee hand down their verdict in every case before they comment on it? The logic of his argument is so flawed that it reinforces my view he was working to a different agenda than just defending Connolly.”

Spillane then went on to defend himself from the comments of his fellow Sunday Game pundits that attempted to throw him under a bus as the renowned pundit put it.

“According to them, not alone was I responsible for getting Connolly suspended, but I had deliberately set out as a Kerryman to achieve that goal. The Sunday Game has always operated on a very simple premise: The panellists offer their views based on what they have seen in front of them.

“Brolly and Dolan broke that golden rule by offering opinions which had absolutely no basis in fact.”