Sunday 21 January 2018

Connolly ready to fight 12-week ban as unease over procedures grows in Dublin


Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Diarmuid Connolly is expected to challenge the 12-week ban proposed by the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee, arising from his clash with a linesman during Dublin's Leinster quarter-final with Carlow last Saturday.

He has until tomorrow evening to decide whether to take the case to the Central Hearings Committee (CHC), which offers him the first chance to put his side of the story. A player has the option of accepting a ban proposed by CCCC or going for a full hearing, with Connolly likely to opt for the latter option.

Two more avenues - the Central Appeals Committee and the DRA - are open to a player whose case goes against him at CHC.

There's growing unease in Dublin over the sequence of events which has left the St Vincent's man facing an idle summer.

Ciarán Branagan, the Down linesman involved in the incident with Connolly, did not react at the time. Neither did referee Seán Hurson (Tyrone), raising the question why two experienced officials took no action for what was a red-card offence.

However, the incident was mentioned in the referee's report, resulting in the proposed ban for Connolly. Dublin will want to know why the incident was ignored in real time, only to find its way into the referee's report.

Connolly's former Dublin team-mate Alan Brogan described the proposed ban as "over the top" - adding: "Looking at the incident on its own, I think it's a little bit harsh for what had happened. To miss three matches, for what it was, seems very harsh to me."

However, Brogan accepted yesterday the St Vincent's star should be a 'little bit wiser' at this stage of his career. "It (discipline) probably is an issue that needs to be addressed," he said. "I know Dermo very well; people ask me is he a hothead, and I wouldn't say he's a hothead now.

"Earlier on in his career he probably did things that he shouldn't have done, but now he's quite controlled."

Meanwhile, Branagan has been appointed to referee the Cork v Tipperary Munster SFC semi-final in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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