Cooney urges caution over social media use

GAA President Christy Cooney

GAA President Christy Cooney says GAA players should be mindful of what they post on social media websites such as Twitter.

Cooney's comments come in the wake of Laois footballer MJ Tierney tweeting that he was 'disillusioned ' after the decision of manager Justin McNulty to drop him from the starting line-up for last Sunday's Leinster SFC match against Dublin.

"We have issued guidelines already and we have to respond to what goes on," said Cooney today. "Lisa (Clancy) and her people (in the GAA Communications department) will be dealing with that."

Tierney's tweet was discussed on RTÉ's 'The Sunday Game' on Sunday night. Kevin McStay suggested that the Parnells clubman should keep his opinions to himself after presenter Des Cahill, a follower of Tierney's on the site, highlighted it.

Tierney hit back in an interview in the Irish Examiner, saying: "Why bother bringing it up? They were making something out of nothing. It says more about the quality of 'The Sunday Game' that they have to talk about a tweet by me.

"The reality of it is that's my private life. I know Twitter is a public forum but you need to follow me to read my tweets and Des Cahill follows me."

Continuing on the subject, Cooney added: "It is down to individuals themselves and if they want to use the medium they are entitled to do that, but it is just that they would want to be careful.

"We can't tell them (the players) no, but we can issue guidelines. We can advise them on what we believe is the best policy going forward.

'We can advise them for their own protection and in the best interests of themselves and their own county that this is what they should do and how they should use it. They are all individuals and we would hope that they would be responsible enough to use it properly."

Cooney also confirmed that the GAA have not spoken to the GPA about the use of social media by players.

"We haven't gone into that. We are trying to roll out our education programmes with them at the moment," he explained.

"Over time we will sit down with them. Lisa (Clancy) has constant contact with Sean Potts in their communications department.

"That will develop over time. As I said it is a new medium and we aren't going to have a knee jerk reaction as a response to it."

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