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Antrim PRO wants the positives highlighted more often

John Campbell

Antrim PRO Brendan Mulgrew has hit out at what he has described as "far too much negativity" in terms of GAA coverage on occasions.

His broadside comes as the county board is set to launch an investigation into violent incidents which marred the recent U21 football championship match between Lamh Dhearg and St John's.

Both the drawn game and replay between the sides were marred by unsavoury incidents with no fewer than nine players having been hit with suspensions arising out of trouble at the first match even before the second game took place.

And while Mulgrew admits that such happenings are "regrettable" and that the county board will now act on the contents of the referee's report from the second game, he nonetheless believes that negative issues are invariably highlighted.

"I don't think I saw a preview or a report of any of the two games that took place between these clubs," says Mulgrew.

"What does that tell you? Obviously the negative stuff has got highlighted.

"But there are many, many positive aspects to the GAA in Antrim which do not get the same level of publicity.

"There is great progress being made on many fronts and I think it is only right that this should be recorded.

"We now have our new football manager in place and we are intent on going forward. From time to time incidents will happen, as they do in any other county, and they will be dealt with appropriately.

"But I don't think it is right that undue emphasis should be put on such events at the expense of perhaps publicity for more positive aspects of the GAA in the county."

Mulgrew, though, is anxious to see a high level of sportsmanship maintained at matches.

"There are a huge number of games played in our county which pass off without incident but inevitably there will be the odd game in which we will have controversy.

"The Ulster Council has been placing strong emphasis on its mantra of respect for opposing players and match officials and we support this wholeheartedly," adds Mulgrew.

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