THE ULSTER COUNCIL insists that the findings of an investigation into alleged ‘sledging’ in this year’s Ulster Minor Championship clash between Donegal and Tyrone will remain confidential.
Donegal minor manager Declan Bonner claimed in the wake of the clash in Ballybofey on Sunday, May 17, that his captain Michael Carroll was taunted over the death of his father Francie, who died of cancer in 2014.
Tyrone officials contested the accusation and an investigation was undertaken, from which no findings were ever publicised.
Today’s statement from the Ulster Council reads as follows:
“Following a request from the Tyrone County Committee, Ulster GAA through its CCC established an Investigation Committee in May 2015 which met on seven occasions over a four month period to review evidence and witness statements alongside conducting a range of interviews with the relevant parties.
At a meeting on Wednesday 23rd September the Committee reviewed its findings with both Tyrone and Donegal and the concluding report was agreed by all parties. The Committee agreed with both County Committees that the findings will remain confidential.
We would also highlight that recent media reports regarding the investigation do not accurately reflect the findings of the Committee. All parties were satisfied that this matter was resolved and there will be no further comment from Ulster GAA.”
The Ulster Council statement comes in the wake of a story that appeared on a Tyrone-based website last evening.
The “recent media reports” that “do not accurately reflect the findings of the Committee” in the statement are in reference to an ‘exclusive’ carried Teamtalkmag.
They last night claimed that the Donegal County Board, Tyrone County Board and Ulster Council would be releasing a joint-statement “to finally bring closure to this unfortunate episode. The Ulster Council in their judgement exonerated the Tyrone minor players, management and coaches.”
However, late last night, Donegal GAA rubbished these claims and said:
“CLG Dhun na nGall wish to vehemently refute the story on Teamtalkmag.com this evening.
“CLG Dhun na nGall has in its possession the Ulster Council CCC Investigation Report and the conclusions reached were agreed by both CLG Thir Eoghain and CLG Dhun na nGall at a meeting on Wednesday September 23rd. We understand that the Ulster Council will make a statement in the morning accordingly.”
The Teamtalkmag article continued: “Up until tonight the untrue allegations had remained in the public domain as fact. Donegal minor football boss Declan Bonner had been particularly vocal following the game and one Donegal newspaper carried the headline “Donegal minor manager hits out after ‘toxic’ taunting of player.
“Perhaps then the players that represented the Red Hand county that afternoon will finally begin to rid themselves of the unnecessary commentary which was attributed to them from the Donegal minor management, a former Donegal senior player and an RTE pundit.”