Tuesday 25 July 2017

'It's virtually certain to go the DRA' - Joe Brolly on why Diarmuid Connolly could escape proposed ban

Joe Brolly (left) and Diarmuid Connolly (right).
Joe Brolly (left) and Diarmuid Connolly (right).
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The CCCC this evening proposed a 12 week ban for Diarmuid Connolly following an incident with a linesman and Joe Brolly thinks that it is far from straightforward that the Dublin star will serve a suspension.

Connolly put his hands on sideline official Ciaran Branagan during Dublin's 12-point win over Carlow in the Leinster quarter-final last Saturday night, with Pat Spillane and Colm O'Rourke subsequently saying on The Sunday Game that a 12 week ban was warranted.

Read more: Diarmuid Connolly handed 12 week ban for incident with linesman

Connolly would be ruled out until a potential All-Ireland semi-final if the ban is upheld, but speaking to The Throw-In podcast today, Brolly, who is a barrister, explained that the case against Connolly will likely come down to what the referee and his linesman told the CCCC when questioned on the incident.

"If the referee doesn't deal with it, having chosen not to deal with it, then it is not for the CCCC, as a matter of constitutional law and in the rules of the GAA, to re-referee the game," Brolly said.

"There is a real danger of that happening here. Clearly the sideline official experienced the incident himself and it looks as though the referee saw it and he chose not to take action, and that is in there discretion.

"Because the referee didn't issue a card then the CCCC will probably look for clarification on the issue. It depends on how that is framed and answered."

Brolly then explained the set of questions he would ask the disciplinary committee if he was representing Connolly.

"If I was acting for Diarmuid then I would ask the CCCC, which I am entitled to do, to put a series of clarification questions to them:

"Did you [referee Sean Hurson] see the incident? Was the sideline official aware of the incident? Did the sideline official communicate with the official that an offence had occured? If not, why not? Why did the officials not take action when they must have been aware of the incident? Those questions all go to the key issue in this case which is, did the officials, as it appeared that they must have, decide to let this go? And if they did, why did they let this go?

"If a process does start it is going to be really, really interesting and it is virtually certain to go the the DRA."

Listen to Joe Brolly's full thoughts on the Connolly situation by subscribing to The Throw-In below.

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