Carlow footballers will be without manager Turlough O’Brien on the sidelines for most of the championship after he was given a 20 week ban for an altercation with a referee RTE Sport report.
It’s a triple blow for Carlow though as top class midfielder Brendan Murphy and coach Steven Poacher have also been given bans, although not as severe as O’Brien’s they still face 12 week bans for their involvement in a incident with referee James Bermingham following the Allianz Division 3 defeat to Down at Dr Cullen Park last month. Carlow lost the game in controversial circumstances after a hefty amount of injury time. They in turn refused to speak to media after the game.
The charge the three men was Minor Physical Inference with a Referee’, The Central Hearing found not proven, and threatening conduct towards a referee which was upheld in all three of the cases. It is a massive blow for the Barrowsiders, they would have to reach the All-Ireland semi-finals for O’Brien to take a training session or be on the sidelines. The news not so bad for Murphy and Poacher, should they make it to the Leinster semi-final stages they could return on June 9th. Carlow will get their Leinster campaign off with a game against Meath on May 25th.
Carlow have made huge strides in the last few months. They were promoted last year to Division 3 but they now find themselves back down there for 2020. They reached a Leinster semi-final in 2018 also. These latest revelations will not help the cause of reaching a Leinster Final though or even in the qualifiers.