Sunday 19 May 2019

GAA club expresses dismay after one of their players was left with extensive facial injuries, but opponent had red card rescinded

Ballysteen called for an investigation into how the red card was overturned
Ballysteen called for an investigation into how the red card was overturned Newsdesk Newsdesk

A Limerick club has expressed their disappointment after a player that was sent off for hitting one of their players off the ball had his red card rescinded.

Ballysteen GAA club called for an investigation into how the red card was overturned on appeal.

A letter from the club was read out at a county board meeting this week outlining the significant injuries suffered in the incident that occurred during the Limerick SFC quarter-final between Ballysteen and Ballylanders.

The Limerick Leader has published the details of the letter.

The letter signed by Ballysteen chairman Alan Kehoe read: “I am writing to express our disappointment following an incident that took place during the senior football match between Ballysteen and Ballylanders - the match took place on Saturday September 29 when Ballysteen and Ballylanders played the quarter final of the Limerick senior football championship.

“During the game one of our players received an unprovoked blow to the face at one point in the game, in which he did not have possession of the ball. He had to immediately leave the field and could not continue. The Ballylanders player who inflicted the injury received a red card and was sent-off immediately by the referee.

“The extent of the Ballysteen players’ injuries were discovered upon medical examination and included the following; cheekbone fracture, lower eye socket fracture and bone behind the eyebrow fracture. The player was sent to University Hospital later that evening for x-ray and the above facial injuries were discovered. Due to severe bruising and swelling, an operation was deferred until October 4.

“In addition to the facial reconstruction, a plate was inserted which will remain for life, and he has suffered a numbness in the side of his face and jaw and surgeons have advised that this may not recover due to nerve damage sustained in the blow.

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“The player who inflicted this injury received a straight red card and automatically a one match ban must be served, however in this instance the red card was overturned on appeal.

The letter went on to allege that: “The player moved 20-30 yards and inflicted a single blow to the face, captured on match video and I am asking the County Board to investigate how such an appeal was successful.”

The letter stressed: “The Ballysteen club wants to make it clear we harbour no animosity or ill towards Ballylanders GAA club or its players and wish them the best of luck for the remainder of the championship.

“The successful appeal against an unprovoked assault to our player raises questions on the integrity of Limerick GAA’s disciplinary system and sets an example for both adult and junior players around the county that is completely unacceptable."

Limerick chairman ruled out an investigation, insisting that the Limerick Competitions Control Committee (CCC) had dealt with the issue.

“I think procedure to deal with such an issue has been exhausted. The points that have been made in the letter and in good faith from the Ballysteen club will be brought to the attention of the secretary of the hearings committee for their consideration," he said.

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