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‘Recent criticism of our ethos has been unhelpful and critiques should never degenerate into personal attacks’

GAA President Larry McCarthy takes aim at critics ahead of championship kick-off and insists that ‘what we say matters’

It was an eventful afternoon for GAA President Larry McCarthy as he used the presentation ceremonies for today’s League final double-header in Croke Park to get a few things off his chest.

McCarthy, when presenting the Division 1 FL title to Mayo captain Paddy Durcan at GAA HQ, took the opportunity to take a pop at the “critics collective” of the Association.

“We now turn to the next phase of the inter-county season. As we do, let me remind people and members of the critics collective in particular that what we say matters, what we write matters,” a clearly irked McCarthy said.

“In the next few months our critiques should be tempered by the fact that those involved in the championship are members of our Association, our volunteers and our amateurs.

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“Recent criticism of our ethos has been unhelpful and critiques should never degenerate into personal attacks.”

Who or what McCarthy is actually referring to is not yet clear and it was certainly unusual for a GAA President to speak in those type of tones while preparing to hand over trophies.

McCarthy also used the same scenario to scold a group of Dublin supporters on Hill 16 after boos rang out when praise for Division 2 FL referee Liam Devenney was requested.

Dublin had earlier defeated Derry by 4-6 to 0-11 – exacting revenge for their round-robin defeat last month – to take the Division 2 crown with some of the spectators in attendance expressing themselves afterwards, to which McCarthy responded by saying “Now, now gentlemen”.

The supporters again booed Mayo referee Devenney when he was thanked by winning Dublin captain James McCarthy in his acceptance speech.

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Larry McCarthy is serving his last year as GAA President with former Armagh star Jarlath Burns set to take the reins early next year.

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