Monday 11 December 2017

Supporter faces ban from GAA matches after striking player during county final

Martin Stokes struck Newcastlewest footballer James Kelly during the Limerick county final
Martin Stokes struck Newcastlewest footballer James Kelly during the Limerick county final
James Kelly of Newcastlewest receives attention following the incident
Stokes is escorted from the pitch
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

A GAA supporter who struck a player in the face during a county final faces the prospect of being banned from attending matches.

The Limerick County Board is to launch an investigation after a supporter, Martin Stokes, struck Newcastlewest player James Kelly in the face after he was sent-off after receiving a second yellow card.

Kelly was not badly injured, but received medical attention on the pitch. He scored 2-2 at the Limerick Gaelic Grounds before being dismissed.

The incident happened during the closing stages of the county final between Newcastlewest and Dromcollogher-Broadford, which had been marred by a fracas between players earlier in the game.

The game was drawn and will be replayed on Friday night.

Limerick County Secretary Michael O'Riordan said the Competitions Control Committee (CCC) would meet this evening to discuss the referee's report, before deciding if further action would be taken.

"I cannot comment until we see the evidence," he said. "The CCC will meet tomorrow evening and the referee's report will be discussed.

"We have asked for it to be produced by 7pm. The committee is made of up 13 people and it will decide if it needs further time to investigate."

Video footage and photographs will be reviewed before a final decision is taken.

The GAA can impose a wide range of sanctions on supporters, depending on the severity of the offence. Earlier this year a female GAA supporter from Ulster was banned from all games for 48 weeks.

Newcastlewest could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, gardai in Cavan arrested a supporter during the opening round of the Ulster club senior championships after he verbally abused players leaving the pitch at half-time.

The match between Mullahoran (Cavan) and Errigal Ciaran (Tyrone) at Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan was won by Errigal Ciaran, the team which the arrested man supported.

Stewards contacted gardai after the man continued to verbally abuse Mullahoran players. He was removed from the ground and arrested.

Irish Independent

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