Big blow for Cork as leg injury could spell the end of O’Sullivan’s season

Director general says the alleged O’Brien case raises no issues whatever about the structures

Cork’s Paudie O’Sullivan has broken his leg. Photograph: Inpho

Cork’s Paudie O’Sullivan has broken his leg. Photograph: Inpho

Wed, Apr 24, 2013, 15:07

Cork look set to be without Paudie O’Sullivan for this summer’s senior hurling championship campaign after the talented forward suffered a suspected leg break yesterday evening.

The 24-year-old was hurling for East Cork divisional side Imokilly in a county senior hurling championship match against Cork IT when he suffered the horror injury.

Imokilly were leading by 0-2 to 0-1 when the incident occurred and the serious nature of O’Sullivan’s injury led to the game being abandoned.

O’Sullivan, younger brother of former Cork All-Ireland winning full back Diarmuid, was stretchered off the pitch and taken to hospital from Carrigtwohill by ambulance.

Meanwhile, the GAA has strongly defended its disciplinary structures, the association’s director general Páraic Duffy also rejecting any calls for a citing process similar to that used by other sports such as rugby.

Duffy was speaking in Croke Park ahead of Sunday’s Allianz Football League final, and against the backdrop of the Dublin defender Kevin O’Brien still not knowing whether or not he is free to play as the disciplinary process into an alleged biting offence drags on.

The player has requested a date with the Central Hearings Committee (CHC), now expected to take place this evening, after the Dublin County Board were informed this day last week that the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) had recommended a three-match suspension for a category III offence.

This followed the CCCC investigation into claims by Donegal that a Dublin footballer had allegedly bit Paddy McBrearty in the league match back on April 7th.

“I am not going to comment on the case at all but I would absolutely be quite happy with how the disciplinary structures work,” said Duffy. “This raises no issues whatsoever about the structures.”

The CCCC hasn’t officially identified the player, nor indeed the exact nature of the alleged offence: “There is no veil of secrecy,” added Duffy. “We have to protect everyone’s rights here. I think the structure has proven that it has worked very well.

“I don’t think this raises any questions about the structures but I really don’t want to comment. This is still in progress ”

Duffy was equally clear that the GAA won’t be going down the road of a citing process, now widely adopted in rugby.

“I could be drawn into a comparison here with another case and another sport and I don’t want to do that.

“I think it works fine and it does not raise any questions around how our structures work, I am absolutely happy with that.

Very well
“The changes we made a few years ago have bedded in very well and the structures do work very well and I don’t think this raises any question about the structures at all . . .

“When the process is complete we will announce the outcome and I think that is absolutely fair to everyone involved. I am absolutely happy with how the structures work. In any disciplinary case the findings are announced after the hearing stage and that is still the same.”

Also speaking at the Croke Park event was Dublin defender Ger Brennan, who compared the workings of the CCCC to the “Catholic Church”, although he insisted it wasn’t impacting on Dublin’s preparations.

“Firstly it hasn’t really affected me or the team, we’ve just carried on in our preparations as we do for every other game,” said Brennan.

“I often compare the GAA to the Catholic Church, they’re very slow in processing and doing things. I think they could do an awful lot better. But it’s not something for me to get into a lot when I’m still playing.”

Brennan has featured in all of Dublin’s league games under manager Jim Gavin so far this season bar one, having been suspended for the meeting with Kildare, yet admits competition for places has never been stronger.

New generation
“I don’t know is it a start of a new generation. It is great to see that talent coming through. Any panel that wins the All-Ireland underage means there is a lot of talent coming through. It’s important to use them with the older lads that are there. We just try to progress with each game.”

Sunday’s game gives Dublin a chance to avenge their only league defeat. “We were disappointed that day. In the first half of that game in particular, we were quite poor. We were open and we didn’t push up on them enough.

“They had the whole of Croke Park to do what they wanted to. We’re going to have to work on our defensive structure and curtail their opportunities.”