Sunday 4 December 2016

Joe Brolly on Tiernan McCann ban: It's not a police state... this is not North Korea

Published 12/08/2015 | 20:37

Tiernan McCann and Joe Brolly
Tiernan McCann and Joe Brolly

GAA pundit Joe Brolly believes there is no way that the GAA can lawfully impose an eight-game ban on Tyrone's Tiernan McCann.

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The GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee has written to the Tyrone County Board to inform them that they plan to impose the ban on McCann for 'misconduct considered to have discredited the association'.

The wing-forward hit the floor after getting his hair ruffled by Monaghan's Darren Hughes leading to Hughes' dismissal.

While Brolly believes that an eight-week ban would be just, he insists that the GAA can't use the 'misconduct' rule to supersede the existing penalty for feigning injury.

"The GAA don't have a leg to stand on. They have to apply the law as it stands and the law is a yellow card," the 1993 All-Ireland winner told Game On on 2FM.

"We're going to have to revisit this in the same way the black card was introduced to stop cynical fouling. We're going to have to increase the punishment.

"It's not a police state... this is not North Korea.

"The GAA has got to comply with the rules.

"My concern is that it has been decided at a high level to throw the book at this kid.

"The moral statutory interpretation applies to any rule and in this case the law-maker which is Congress has created this specific offence in Rule 5 which is 'attempting to achieve an advantage be feigning a foul or an injury' and the penalty for that is a yellow card.

"There is a specific offence created in the law and there is a specific penalty.

"I don't like it, I think the penalty for feigning should be a red card and the ban should be eight weeks but that's not the case.

"No one's been a more trenchant critic of Tyrone's cynicism than I have been over the years and I firmly dislike it, I think it's poisonous for the ethos of the game."

Brolly accused the CCCC of manipulating the law to single out McCann after the furore his 'dive' created

"We are all bound by the law and for the first time they've used a very general power 'misconduct considered to have discredited the association' and they've used that to impose an eight-week ban," he added.

"The High Court in Dublin or Belfast would have no problem striking this down because it's arbitrary and it's being done to punish this individual player.

"No single act of feigning is any worse than another.

"Any offence, they could override it and say 'this is misconduct'. The only reason they are doing this now is because their own punishment for the offence of feigning, they now think that's not a sufficient punishment.

"This is clearly a manipulation, in the circumstances of this case, that's designed to punish this fella.

"It's arbitrary, it's unfair and therefore as a matter of law.. it's illegal. It gives me no pleasure to say that as a Derry man."

Tyrone are planning to appeal the proposed ban.

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