Diarmuid Connolly was 'attacked' before match claims Dublin CEO
John Costello says in annual report Dublin forward was targeted before throw-in
“Diarmuid Connolly, was struck about six times before the ball was even thrown in to commence the game.”
In a section headed, ‘Targeting,’ he uses the player as an example in what he believes is an imbalance in the treatment of victims of the practice.
“Euphemisms such as ‘man-marking’ and ‘close, continuous marking’ were used to suggest they were the same as ‘targeting’. They are not.
“I’ll give one example of ‘targeting’ and how the victim can ultimately be deemed to be the guilty perpetrator if action is not taken by officials when the ‘targeting’ is not cut out at source and the instigator for the most part goes unpunished. In one of our championship games this summer one of our players - (no prizes for guessing who!) - Diarmuid Connolly, was struck about six times before the ball was even thrown in to commence the game.
“Okay, they were not Mike Tyson haymakers he was hit with but, never-the-less, each blow was an infraction of the rules and worse still, happened right under the gaze of one of the referee’s linesmen. At most breaks in play, this action continued with the perpetrator turning his back to the play and repeatedly striking Diarmuid, with one intention only, ie provoking a reaction that may get him in card trouble. The linesman’s attention was brought to it but again no action taken.
“In conclusion, to clean up this aspect of our games which often culminates in messy pushing and shoving contests and, ultimately the odd ripped jersey or two, it is important for the welfare of the game that action is taken to cut it out at source ie the original instigator.”