Saturday 25 May 2019

Eight-week ban for GAA official for punching player

Ugly encounter: The two teams clash during the melee as Dingle and East Kerry met at Austin Stack Park on Sunday. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Ugly encounter: The two teams clash during the melee as Dingle and East Kerry met at Austin Stack Park on Sunday. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Rory Tevlin and Ger Keville

A GAA official caught on video punching an opposition player as ugly scenes marred the Kerry SFC semi-final replay is to be handed an eight-week suspension.

Dingle senior football team mentor Colm Geaney was the subject of a Competitions Control Committee (CCC) investigation following the brawl which broke out during the clash between Dingle and East Kerry on Sunday.

Dingle won the game 4-13 to 0-12. The CCC met on Monday night to consider referee Paul Hayes' match report into the ugly incidents at Austin Stack Park.

The video of the brawl, which happened close to both dug-outs, was viewed. Footage showed East Kerry player Dara Moynihan being struck in the face.

It is understood an eight week ban has been proposed by the disciplinary body following the probe.

Geaney and East Kerry manager Gerry O'Sullivan were both sent off and ordered by match referee Paul Hayes after the melee ended.

Geaney will now have three days to respond and either accept the sanction or request a hearing with the Central Hearings Committee (CHC).

'The Kerryman' has reported that there is no proposed sanction for O'Sullivan.

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The Dingle club and East Kerry divisional team are also expected to be issued with fines, which can be appealed.

Dingle star Paul Geaney, who bagged a hat-trick in the game, played down the row but suggested that it may be time to introduce a second referee in gaelic football.

"There was a punch-up in a basketball match [on Saturday], so it does happen," he told Radio Kerry.

"When there is adrenaline pumping and there are the physical stakes and there is adrenaline going it is possible to happen. The stakes are high, there was a county final on the line the last two games.

"It happens. Is it excusable? Probably not.

"You are looking at your teammates and if they are in trouble, you are going to help them out.

There was no malice in any of them really.

"There was no real punches thrown... It was two teams trying to stamp their authority on the game. It just flares up sometimes.

"Maybe they do have to look at a second referee as the only way to stamp authority because there were two incidents; they were the same incident really and when a referee is trying to deal with it on one side, then something else flares up on the other side, it is very difficult."

Meanwhile, the Kerry GAA County Board will bring in extra stewards for Sunday's county final between Dingle and Dr Crokes.

Additional stewards will be brought in to marshal the perimeter of the pitch, and in particular the area around the dug-outs.

However, there will be no reduction in the number of people who will be permitted to be in and around the two dug-outs during the game.

Irish Independent

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