Saturday 21 April 2018

Connolly accepts 12-week penalty - Dublin star set to miss minimum of three games

 

Diarmuid Connolly accepted a 12-week ban for minor physical interference with an official during the Leinster quarter-final between Dublin and Carlow
Diarmuid Connolly accepted a 12-week ban for minor physical interference with an official during the Leinster quarter-final between Dublin and Carlow
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Diarmuid Connolly has opted to accept the 12-week suspension handed down to him by the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) for minor physical interference with an official during their Leinster quarter-final against Carlow two weeks ago.

Connolly had the option of holding the procedure that led to his suspension up to scrutiny by the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) and subsequently the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA).

But Dublin GAA brought closure to the case yesterday when they issued a statement confirming that both player and board had decided not to appeal, bringing clarity after conflicting reports last weekend suggested that he would not be seeking a hearing.

Connolly pushed linesman Ciarán Brannigan in reaction to a sideline ball he felt should have gone Dublin's way but went to Carlow instead.

The contact was minimal - Brannigan didn't react to it - but under the rules laying a hand on an official constitutes 'minor physical interference' and the incident was referred to in referee Seán Hurson's report, leading to the Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) proposing a three-month ban.

The failure of the officials to deal with it at the time raised some expectation that he had a case but Dublin have moved swiftly to bring it to an end now.

Connolly will not be eligible to play any football or hurling until August 26, the day before the second All-Ireland semi-final Dublin are headed for, provided they are not blown off course.

Connolly's form had not been as good as other years but his loss for potentially three games and the absence of match sharpness when he does return will be felt by the All-Ireland champions.

Meanwhile, Keith Higgins has had a one-match ban proposed by the CCCC for the red card he received during last Sunday's Connacht semi-final. Higgins is likely to accept the penalty and sit out Mayo's second round qualifier.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport