Sunday 18 March 2018

Banned GAA referee farce: Brian Gavin now a doubt to take charge of Kilkenny v Waterford

Referee Brian Gavin
Referee Brian Gavin
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA has intervened in the disciplinary case involving top hurling referee Brian Gavin, who is facing a four-week ban for alleged comments made to a referee in Offaly.

Gavin was reported by referee Pauric Pierce, who is a county board official, for the alleged exchange which took place after Clara, the club which Gavin chairs, lost a junior football quarter-final to Kilconfert.

Offaly's Competitions Control Committee proposed the ban on receipt of the referee's report.

With Gavin down to referee Sunday's All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Waterford, Croke Park is understood to have got in touch with Offaly County Board and requested that a hearing sought by the Clara official, which was due to take place next week, be fast tracked to last night.

It was felt that the case could serve as a distraction as he took charge of such an important match.

Gavin's club is expected to be informed of the decision this morning. If the suspension is upheld, he cannot take charge of Sunday's match.

Meanwhile, Noel McGrath could return for Tipperary in Sunday week's All-Ireland semi-final against Galway.

Tipp manager Eamon O'Shea has said McGrath, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer in April, is "in the mix" for the game and that his recovery has really lifted the squad.

"Noel is progressing well. It's a serious thing so you just have to wait and see how he goes. He's been hurling away with us and he has played for his club a couple of times," said O'Shea.

"It's great credit to him - it's good to get back doing things he likes doing, like any of us. That's been the big thing for us. The big thing was to get him back in an environment where he's happy. Now he's in the mix."

Pádraic Maher is also on course to recover. Maher damaged the AC joint in his shoulder early in the Munster final victory over Waterford but played on. The Thurles Sarsfields man left Semple Stadium that day with his arm in a sling but O'Shea is "hopeful" that his centre-back will be fully recovered.

In football Tyrone recall Cathal McCarron for their All-Ireland quarter-final against Monaghan.

Irish Independent

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