Friday 18 October 2019

'The sight was gone for a wee bit' - Tiernan McCann facing one-match ban for 'fish-hook' on Stephen McMenamin

Tiernan McCann was involved in a controversial second half incident against Donegal
Tiernan McCann was involved in a controversial second half incident against Donegal
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tiernan McCann is likely to escape with a one-match ban for the incident in Saturday's Ulster semi-final in which he pulled Donegal defender Stephen McMenamin's mouth during a tussle for possession on the ground.

In a follow-up, the Tyrone defender's boot also made contact with McMenamin's head.

The incident was missed by referee David Gough but will be examined by the Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) when they meet later today.

However, predictions of a lengthy ban do not align with the GAA's rule book.

The offence, commonly referred to as 'fish-hooking,' is likely to be categorised as Category Three which covers behaviour that is considered dangerous to an opponent and carries a minimum one-match ban.

The committee would be open to going beyond the recommended minimum because of the nature of the offence but recent instances of 'eye-gouging' have merited just the minimum suspension.

It is unlikely that the disciplinary body will pursue a stamping charge against McCann which carries a minimum two-match ban because of the burden of proof required to prove it was deliberate.

Inflicting injury recklessly is another possible avenue, but as McMenamin played on that too is unlikely to be pursued.

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Donegal coach Karl Lacey confirmed yesterday that McMenamin's sight was gone for a short period.

"He was sore when it happened," he said. "There was a possibility he might have been taken off, the sight was gone for a wee bit.

"But he's a tough boy, it would take a wee bit more than that to pull him off in an Ulster Championship game," added Lacey, who said Donegal were happy to leave the matter to the GAA.

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