Derrytresk chairman accuses GAA of 'witch-hunt'
Derrytresk chairman Barney Campbell believes the GAA has engaged in a witch-hunt in the punishments handed out to the Tyrone junior champions this week.
In addition to the suspensions of eight players and a €2,500 fine arising from the All-Ireland semi-final brawl against Dromid Pearses last month, the Derrytresk club has been banned from representing Tyrone or Ulster in GAA competitions for five years.
That suspension, which kicks in after this Sunday’s All-Ireland junior club final against Galway side Clonbur, has prompted an angry and passionate response from the tiny club.
Campbell, the club chairman, believes that a trial by media has taken place with the GAA unduly influenced by the effects of newspapers and radio, including Joe Duffy’s RTE Radio One phone-in show Liveline.
In an extensive, hugely informative if a little emotive piece in Thursday’s Irish Times, Campbell says, “Very few people up here take much notice of the southern papers or radio – I had hardly heard of Liveline before this all happened. We didn’t realise the effect it was having.
“We thought the GAA would deal with us fairly: we expected to be punished but we didn’t expect a witch hunt.”