Among the most dominant themes of the GAA summer has been the disciplinary process, and it has given rise to one of the most interminable sagas of many a year, which has branched into a kind of postmodernism: Charlie Redmond Hits Out At What Jim McGuinness Said About What Jim Gavin Said About What Pat Spillane Said About Diarmuid Connolly.
While the rules dictate that Connolly deserved a suspension, the process by which it was administered was shrouded in controversy.
The incident was included in the referee’s report, which then allowed the CCCC to make a ruling on it. This was somewhat surprising, given that the referee had been deemed to have made a decision on the incident by not disciplining Connolly at the time.
Joe Brolly voiced this issue:
The very odd thing about this case, and something that is rescuing the CCCC from a fatal legal problem, is that if is this hadn’t been referred to in the referee’s report, the CCCC would not have been able to act as the official had been fully aware of it at the time.
The only assumption which arises is that he didn’t think that Diarmuid crossed the line and didn’t warrant a punishment, and a card, because the sideline official, who is a very experienced, elite referee, clearly felt his [Connolly’s] fingers touching him.
It’s extraordinary if he [the linesman] took the view that he [Connolly] had crossed the line that he didn’t immediately speak to his referee, who was standing beside him, and say ‘this guy just pushed me’, as you would with any other incident on the field of play, if a player struck another player.
It’s a mystery as to how it wasn’t dealt with on the field and subsequently it turned up in the referee’s report as part of a quote-unquote debrief after the game, where the sideline official, as I understand it, told the referee at an unspecified time after the game, that ‘Oh, I meant to tell ya, I was pushed by Diarmuid Connolly’.
Carlow manager Turlough O’Brien was on the…