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No bans after Omagh brawl as Tyrone and Dublin accept €5,000 fines

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Padraig Hampsey (right) received a black card for Tyrone following a melee against Dublin but no player will receive a ban. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Padraig Hampsey (right) received a black card for Tyrone following a melee against Dublin but no player will receive a ban. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Padraig Hampsey (right) received a black card for Tyrone following a melee against Dublin but no player will receive a ban. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

DUBLIN and Tyrone have both decided to accept the €5,000 fines handed down by the CCCC on foot of the recent brawl in Omagh.

As expected, Croke Park’s investigation into the row that erupted at half-time in Tyrone’s victory over the All-Ireland champions in Healy Park on February 29th has yielded no bans.

Therefore, the decision to slap both county boards with a €5,000 fine is effectively the end of the matter, unless either county board choose to appeal the sanction.

However, Independent.ie understands that both Dublin and Tyrone have decided to cut their losses and pay the financial penalty.

The lack of clarity in identifying individual culpability in the broadcast clips of the incident has resulted in no player being sanctioned following a thorough investigation into the affair.

In the circumstances, both Dessie Farrell and Mickey Harte can count themselves lucky not to be without players due to suspension for their forthcoming league matches against Meath and Donegal respectively.

Mobile phone footage of the brawl shows players from both teams throwing punches, although such recordings are inadmissible as evidence in any GAA disciplinary probe.

Speaking immediately afterwards, Farrell described the incident as "needless", while Harte expressed his belief that the black card shown to Pádraig Hampsey before throw-in for the second half by referee Cormac Reilly would be the only punishment Tyrone would face.

Harte's prediction has proved to be correct.

The long-serving Tyrone manager also suggested that the number of bodies in the tunnel in Healy Park at that moment was "a good thing, that nobody could get doing any damage to each other".

Despite the investigation and the unseemly nature of the altercation, Independent.ie understands that there are no fresh plans to review half-time protocols for league matches.

It is the second time in the past 12 years that players from Dublin and Tyrone have clashed heavily in Healy Park without incurring any suspensions.

In 2006, in what became known as 'The Battle of Omagh,' several ugly brawls broke out, four players were sent off and referee Paddy Russell later admitted that one more flare-up would have led to the match being abandoned.

The GAA’s disciplinary arm, then called the CDC, suspended seven players and fined the county boards €10,000 each, although none of the seven served any ban due to a technicality.

Online Editors