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‘They are out of control’ – Joe Brolly criticises Armagh players over melee at Croke Park

GAA should probe ‘deliberate assaults’ on Galway players, Brolly tells The Indo Daily podcast

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Analyst Joe Brolly spoke out after a Galway player suffered eye-gouging incident at All-Ireland football quarter-final on Sunday. Photo: Oliver McVeigh /Sportsfile

Analyst Joe Brolly spoke out after a Galway player suffered eye-gouging incident at All-Ireland football quarter-final on Sunday. Photo: Oliver McVeigh /Sportsfile

Analyst Joe Brolly spoke out after a Galway player suffered eye-gouging incident at All-Ireland football quarter-final on Sunday. Photo: Oliver McVeigh /Sportsfile

Gaelic football analyst Joe Brolly has said the man at the centre of an alleged ‘eye-gouging’ incident at the Armagh-Galway match on Sunday will be banned for at least a year – but the GAA should investigate “deliberate assaults” on Galway players during the game.

Brolly, who won an All-Ireland medal with Derry in 1993, said there was  a “venom” in the way some, not all, of the Armagh players behave.

“They are out of control and it is only a matter of time before someone gets very seriously injured,” he told The Indo Daily podcast.

“This was deliberate goading, deliberate assaults during the course of the game, way beyond what is acceptable.

“I invite the GAA to look at all the camera footage.

“They should be asking RTÉ for all of the camera footage, because a lot was missed yesterday. It’s not good enough.”

Armagh forward Tiernan Kelly has been identified as the player whose fingers made contact with Galway forward Damien Comer’s eye during a melee at the All-­Ireland football quarter-final on Sunday.

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But Mr Brolly says there is a wider issue about Armagh. He says it is no coincidence that this was the third on-field fracas involving Armagh this season.

“There is, unfortunately, a culture within this Armagh squad and it’s difficult to know if it is encouraged, but it is certainly being tolerated. This is the third time this season. And the most disappointing thing about (Sunday’s) game is the number of occasions when you could clearly see an Armagh player setting out to injure an opponent,” he said.

Mr Brolly said the eye-gouging would be punished but Armagh must be reprimanded for a series of incidents.

“The eye-gouger, no doubt, will get 12 months as a minimum… Possibly longer than that. It is a scandal to see that in our games, deeply depressing. Armagh is a great football county, with a great tradition,” he said.

Meanwhile MEP and former GAA president Seán Kelly said that, apart from the eye-gouging incident, he saw “no great violence” that would warrant gardaí being involved.

Gardaí said they have not received any complaint.

Speaking to Radio Kerry’s Kerry Today with Jerry O’Sullivan, Mr Kelly said: “Apart from the eye-gouging there was really no great violence that I saw that would warrant the gardaí becoming involved.

“Obviously, any belt at all is unacceptable and they will have to deal with it as part of the GAA’s normal procedures.

“If there is something very serious they would maybe refer to the gardaí but normally matters of that nature involving players, officials will deal with it and that’s the right way to do it because you couldn’t have the gardaí getting involved in every single incident.”  

Listen to the full interview with Joe Brolly on The Indo Daily podcast on Independent.ie


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