Footage of attack on GAA referee posted online
THESE are the shocking images that show last weekend's assault on Tipperary referee Willie Barrett by a hurley-wielding 'supporter'.
Mobile phone footage of the attack appeared on YouTube and had been viewed more than 2,000 times by late yesterday evening. Barrett abandoned the South Tipperary SH championship clash between Carrick Davin and Ballingarry 10 minutes into the second half after he was struck twice with the hurley by his alleged assailant.
The former inter-county referee received a blow to his back and then protected himself from a second strike with his hand.
The clip, which lasts 1 minute and 17 seconds, was filmed by a spectator at the game and begins with footage of both sets of players engaged in some minor jostling.
Seconds later, Barrett's alleged attacker, wearing a grey T-shirt and black tracksuit bottoms, is clearly shown sprinting from the sideline as he makes a beeline for the referee.
He appears to strike Barrett once before the referee and his linesman, Keith O'Brien, run to protect themselves from further blows. To the shock of innocent bystanders, the 'supporter' in question appears to connect with Barrett again before he is surrounded by a number of players.
One spectator is clearly heard saying: "He has to call it off," before, remarkably, the alleged assailant walks from the field of play without any obvious interference.
South Tipperary Board officials met last night to discuss the assault on Barrett, while Gardai have launched a separate investigation into the incident.