Rules have to be consistent
DIARMUID CONNOLLY is free to play in the All-Ireland final and no-one can begrudge him that -- apart perhaps from the countless others footballers and hurlers who have missed the biggest game of their career, but didn't have the twin juggernauts of Dublin GAA and the national media behind them to get them off.
Forget all the red herrings, about Marty Boyle's provocation and theatrics and the fact that Connolly didn't really make contact. The key phrase in the rules -- and these are the same rules which were applied to the likes of Meath's Brian Farrell -- is 'striking or attempting to strike', and the minimum penalty is four weeks and the next game. Did Connolly 'strike or attempt to strike'? Yes. That should be all there is to it because you cannot make ONE exception.
As for Boyle, he should have been charged with misconduct bringing discredit to the game, which is an eight-week ban. (That's the charge which was dangled over Wexford 'keeper Anthony Masterson.) That would have been real justice.
Sunday Indo Sport