Ulster Council reduce club's penalty in ref attack case
AN Ulster club hit by some of the harshest penalties handed down to any unit of the GAA for some time has had the punitive measures diluted on appeal to the Ulster Council hearings committee.
St Mary's, Rasharkin were initially suspended from all competitions above minor level next year and had four members expelled from the association and four others suspended for lengthy periods by the Antrim Competitions Control Committee, following an attack on referee Ray Matthews after a game against Lamh Dhearg in the U-21 football championship semi-final.
Now the provincial hearings committee has decreed that the ban on the club's participation in games above minor level next year should be rescinded but that the team must play all games away from home.
The club will also be bound over for two years and, should any serious incidents of indiscipline occur during that period, then they will be answerable directly to the Ulster Council.
The club, though, have been banned from participating in the 2012 Antrim U-21 football championship and have been fined £500.
Meanwhile, Tyrone double winners Dromore will not get to defend one of the titles they won in 2011, after their final avenue of appeal failed.
Following incidents in the closing stages of the county league final last month between the St Dympna's and Carrickmore, the Tyrone CCC imposed a number of sanctions, including not allowing either club to take part in the top four play-offs for the 2012 Division 1 league title.
Dromore first took their case to the Tyrone hearings committee and when that failed they went to the Ulster Council, but the Provincial hearings committee upheld the decision of the Tyrone CCC.