Wednesday 25 April 2018

Anthony Daly waits to find out if he faces suspension for fracas

Clare hurling legend Anthony Daly and Stephen Sheedy of Clarecastle are shown involved in a fight with Kilmaley’s Niall Romer during the Clare minor hurling final at Sixmilebridge, Co Clare
Anthony Daly (in cap) and his former Clare teammate Stephen Sheedy in the scuffle with Kilmaley's Niall Romer
Clare hurling legend Anthony Daly and Stephen Sheedy of Clarecastle are shown involved in a fight with Kilmaley’s Niall Romer during the Clare minor hurling final at Sixmilebridge, Co Clare

Colm Keys and Fergus Black

DUBLIN hurling manager Anthony Daly faces an anxious wait to learn if he will face disciplinary action following an on-pitch altercation at an under-age hurling match in Clare.

While the Clare county board has promised an investigation, referee Jimmy Hickey's report will not be dealt with until next Monday.

The flare-up occurred 10 minutes into the second half of Saturday's Clare minor hurling final in Sixmilebridge between Mr Daly's former team Clarecastle and another local side, Kilmaley, who won 1-16 to 1-15.

But photographs of the fracas may not be sufficient evidence to prompt disciplinary action against anyone involved.

Mr Daly and his former Clare colleague Stephen Sheedy were acting as Clarecastle minor selectors.

Mr Hickey ordered Clarecastle manager Tommy Howard, who was recently appointed as Kerry hurling manager, and his Kilmaley counterpart Niall Romer outside the pitch enclosure when the trouble died down.

Mr Romer has said he would rather the matter "be let go", adding that all he wanted was for Mr Daly to ring him and apologise.

The outcome of the investigation that will take place will depend on Mr Hickey's report, which is understood to have been sent to the Clare county board yesterday. GAA headquarters said it would not be getting involved, saying it was a matter for the board.

Dublin county secretary John Costello said he was on holiday and knew nothing about the incident.

However, Clare PRO Syl O'Connor said the matter may be dealt with quickly this week.

He pointed out that the juvenile hurling board would begin the investigation, but its chairman was a Clarecastle man and he would have to step aside.

Mr O'Connor did not rule out the prospect of the senior board heading the probe.

Photographic evidence is admissible in GAA investigations, but pictures have rarely been successfully used as the sole evidence to lay a charge against an individual.

They are accepted "with obvious caution", according to a senior GAA official with experience of the association's disciplinary process.

Last week the Limerick Competitions Controls Committee did not use photographic evidence to bring charges of striking against a player involved in an incident in their football final.

Disorder

It could be construed that by sending two rival mentors out of the pitch enclosure, referee Mr Hickey had already dealt with Saturday's incident, but he is likely to be pressed on that issue and whether he saw any other member of either management team involved.

It is not clear if there is any video evidence available -- observers at the game are of the opinion that there is not -- while the prospect of neutral witness accounts are unlikely.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the pictures will strengthen the conviction among senior GAA officials that disorder on the sidelines must be tackled, and that selectors and other backroom staff outside of medical personnel should not be allowed inside the pitch perimeter.

The minimum suspension for any physical interference with an opposition mentor is two months.

Irish Independent

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