Thursday 13 December 2018

Former Offaly star Michael Duignan hit with proposed 12-week ban

Former Offaly star Michael Duignan . Photo: Sportsfile
Former Offaly star Michael Duignan . Photo: Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Former Offaly hurling star Michael Duignan faces a proposed 12-week ban from all GAA activities for allegedly using threatening and abusive behaviour towards a match official.

The proposed suspension arises from an incident which Ballinamere boss Duignan was reportedly involved in during the aftermath of their Offaly U-21 HC quarter-final loss to Kilcormac/Killoughey last week which also saw his son Sean dismissed late on.

Ballinamere were subsequently awarded the tie after it was ruled that K/K had fielded an ineligible player but should the ban be upheld, 'The Sunday Game' pundit Duignan will not be allowed to play any role on the sideline for nearly three months.

Elsewhere, John Evans will be without at least four members of the 2018 Wicklow team for Saturday's O'Byrne Cup opener away to Longford.

Long-serving inter-county players corner-forward John McGrath and corner-back Ciaran Hyland have announced their retirement while the future intentions of James Stafford and Seanie Furlong remain unclear.

Evans revealed this week that midfielder Stafford and full-forward Furlong have not rejoined the panel for the start of the new season and he was giving them time and space to make a decision on their future.

However, Evans has welcomed the arrival of two players from Dublin clubs, Oisin Manning and Dave Devereux - who lined out for the Dubs in last season's O'Byrne Cup - who have teamed up with Evans's training squad, although the latter is nursing a thumb injury.

Both of these players have family links to Wicklow. Manning's father hails from Ashford and Devereux's dad is from Avoca.

Manning lined out at corner-back for St Jude's in the Dublin county final against Kilmacud Crokes. Devereux is a regular half-back for Ballinteer St John's.

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