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GAA clubs attempt to heal rift following weekend brawl

Carnew and Kilcoole to meet tonight after violent scenes at under-15 final

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The two GAA clubs embroiled in the national scandal arising from the violent scenes at an under-15 football final in Ballinakill are to meet tonight (Wednesday) to try and put the matter behind them as they await the decision from Wicklow GAA’s juvenile CCC over the disgraceful brawl.

Sources in Carnew Emmets and Kilcoole GAA clubs have revealed that the meeting was arranged by officers from both clubs ahead of a scheduled Minor football final due to be played this weekend at Ballinakill.

However, Wicklow GAA has announced today that that final has been postponed but the meeting between Carnew Emmets and Kilcoole is still set to go ahead.

The investigation into the incident on Saturday afternoon has begun and referee Philip Bracken’s report is believed to be with the disciplinary body who met on Monday night and are understood to be meeting in the next day or two as they look to dish out punishment and get to the bottom of exactly what sparked off the nasty row at the end of the ‘D’ final.

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However, the results of this investigation may not be known for at least a week as the group sift through the evidence, while all parties will have the option to appeal.

It is understood that after the final whistle was blown by referee Philip Bracken, an incident took place that resulted in a Carnew player receiving a red card.

Shortly after this, as shown in the video recorded on a phone, a significant brawl took place involving supporters and individuals wearing ‘Give Respect, Get Respect’ bibs while a number of other people appear to be trying to calm the situation as young under-15 footballers looked on.

The video was widely circulated on social media and at the time of going to print has over 800,000 views on one Twitter account alone and has received the attention of a wide variety of national media from RTÉ Radio to all of the daily papers.

Appearing on Newstalk on Monday morning, former All-Ireland winning Galway captain Ray Silke called on those found to have been involved to be banned for five years.

“I wouldn’t ban the clubs, but I think the people that can be identified in that video clip should be banned for a minimum of five years, and maybe also a fine for the club,” said Silke.

There is no evidence from the video to indicate that any of the players were involved in the violence, while Wicklow GAA condemned the scenes as being “unacceptable”.

In a statement, the County Board said: “Wicklow GAA are aware of reports of totally unacceptable behaviour from a number of people at a game today. Wicklow GAA strongly condemns all such behaviour, the CCC will be investigating the incident fully and strong disciplinary action taken.”

When asked if the lack of statements or a strong reaction left Wicklow GAA open to criticism, County Chairman Martin Fitzgerald said that he couldn’t comment on the matter as the investigation was ongoing but that he had strongly condemned the behaviour in the statement released on their website on Saturday morning.

When contacted, Kilcoole said that they were working with the County Board in their investigation, while Carnew Emmets did not comment whatsoever.

Meanwhile, An Garda Síochána said they had not received a report about the incident in question to date.


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