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GAA players to face crackdown over abuse on Twitter after broadside at ref

By Donnchadh Boyle

GAA players in Ulster and throughout Ireland have been warned over their use of the social network Twitter.

The sport’s Director-General Paraic Duffy has branded the recent use of Twitter by some GAA players as “not acceptable” and warned that association members will have to be “held to account” for what they post on public forums.

After their SF championship exit to Limerick due to a late disputed point, a number of Wexford players took to the social networking site to register their anger at the performance of Longford referee Derek Fahy but Duffy warned that a similar outbursts may not be ignored in the future.

“I know people would argue what people say on Twitter is their own business but I don't think it's as simple as that,” argued the Monaghan man. “I don't think these forums can become a place for criticising match officials.

“In the heat of the moment people will say things they regret, but that's going to happen. But three or four days after the game when there is personal criticism — be it of players or whoever — is carrying on, that can't be acceptable, and our members have to be held to account.

“If you go over the top and make claims that are wrong and damage a person's character or integrity then you've got to be accountable for that. It's an issue of respect.”

The GPA players’ body is also exploring the possibility of a forum where players can formally air grievances with match officials.

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