O’Brien cleared of biting offence

Dublin footballer will not face any sanction with case against him ‘not proven’

Dublin’s Kevin O’Brien in action against Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty. Photograph:   Inpho/Presseye

Dublin’s Kevin O’Brien in action against Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty. Photograph: Inpho/Presseye

Sat, Apr 27, 2013, 01:38

Dublin’s Kevin O’Brien will not face any sanction over allegations he had bitten Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty during a recent NFL Division One match in Ballybofey.

The Dublin defender was cleared at a hearing of the GAA’s Central Hearings Committee at Croke Park last night with the case against O’Brien “not proven”.

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) had initially proposed a three-match suspension for O’Brien following allegations from Donegal. However, the 2012 under-21 All-Ireland winning captain immediately indicated his intention to contest the ban and following last night’s hearing he will be free to play in Sunday’s Division One league final against Tyrone

“Following a meeting of An Lár Choiste Éisteachta, it was decided that on the basis of the evidence provided and the submissions made on behalf of both parties, the infraction against Kevin O’Brien (Dublin) as alleged was not proven,” the GAA explained in a statement this morning, “and that the disciplinary action against the defending party is at an end.”

The biting allegation was made by both McBrearty and Donegal after the match in Ballybofey, and, in unusual circumstances, it was mentioned in both referee reports as Michael Duffy had to replace the injured referee Pádraig Hughes.

The Dublin County Board have also been denying the allegation from the outside, chairman Andy Kettle saying at the time the Donegal player sustained “a bruise”.