GAA news – Diarmuid Connolly loses first round of appeals

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly has failed to have the 12 week suspension he received from the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) overturned.

The forward stood before the Central Hearings Committee last night hoping that the ban for ‘’minor physical interference’ with linesman Ciaran Branigan would be upheld.

At 2:47am last night, the GAA released a statement announcing that Connolly’s ban has been upheld.

An Lar Choiste Cheannais na gComOrtaisi (Central Competitions Control Committee) took Disciplinary Action against Diarmuid O Conghaile alleging a breach of Riail 7.2 (b) Category V (i) T.O. 2017, “Minor physical interference with a Linesman”

Diarmuid O Conghaile requested a Hearing which took place on 13ú Meitheamh. An Lar Choiste Eisteachta (Central Hearings Committee) found the infraction proven and imposed the following penalty: 12 weeks Suspension in all Codes and at all Levels.

Diarmuid O Conghaile has the option of appealing against the decision of An Lar Choiste Eisteachta to the Central Appeals Committee.

Connolly was given the suspension by the (CCCC) for laying his hand on the shoulder of linesman Ciarán Branagan during his side’s Leinster SFC quarter-final win over Carlow earlier this month.

The ban is set see the boys in blue without their forward until the weekend of Dublin’s All-Ireland semi-final should the side win the Leinster title and win the All-Ireland quarter-final which follows. Although this bid was rejected by the CHC that’s not to say that the St Vincent’s forward won’t line out for Dublin in the Leinster SFC semi-final against either Offaly or Westmeath.

Uncertainty faces the boys in blue and Connolly himself – one thing comforting many a Dub fan today, is that they’ve been through this before and unsurprisingly won.

In 2011 ,Connolly received for a red card in the All-Ireland semi-final for punching Donegal’s Marty Boyle the CHC overturned the ban allowing him to line out in the final against Kerry.

But it was back in 2015 when Connolly set the precedent that fans will look upon for hope. In the All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo Connolly was sent off for striking his Mayo Keegan while on the floor.

The appeal passed through the CHC and then the Central Appeals Committee which is where Connolly will likely go next. But there is no doubt that this will end up on the desk of the Disputes Regulation Authority – a body independent of the GAA and have the final say on all disciplinary issues. On the eve of the semi-final replay, the DRA decided to overturn the ban.

With the precedent behind them and how lucky they have been over the years. Whether people think it’s right or wrong – Connolly will get off.


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