GAA’s CCCC to meet again on Thursday to review quarter-final melee

Committee have written to referee Coldrick seeking clarifications on a number of issues in his match report on Armagh/Galway clash

Proposed sanctions arising from the All-Ireland football quarter-final brawl between Galway and Armagh are unlikely to be delivered until Thursday at the earliest.

The GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee met on Tuesday afternoon as planned to begin its investigation into the ugly scenes that marred Galway’s dramatic penalty shoot-out win at Croke Park.

It’s understood the CCCC considered the contents of referee David Coldrick’s match report and have written to the Meath man seeking clarification on a number of issues.

A further meeting of the CCCC will take place, most likely on Thursday, which will take into account Coldrick’s response and allow for the committee to issue any proposed suspensions or sanctions.

Galway captain Sean Kelly was shown a straight red card by Coldrick, along with Armagh’s Aidan Nugent, following the melee and, as such, would miss Saturday week’s All-Ireland semi-final against Derry due to the accompanying one-match ban.

Galway are expected to request a Central Hearings Committee meeting upon receipt of the proposed suspension.

Meanwhile, the wait will go on for Armagh panellist Tiernan Kelly who is expected to be hit with a proposed ban by the CCCC after being caught on camera making contact with the eye area of Galway’s Damien Comer during the fracas.

Speaking on the Second Captains podcast, All-Ireland winning Armagh forward Oisín McConville said Kelly, who started all of the Orchard County’s Allianz League games this season before being sidelined for the majority of the championship through injury, has “made contact with Galway” and offered an apology.

“I still worry for him as a young lad,” said McConville. “I know what’s happened since, he’s done everything that’s expected of him, he’s made contact with Galway, he’s devastated, all of those things but, again, I’m not excusing it. There’s absolutely no excusing it, but I think his reaction is the right reaction rather than burying his head in the sand.

“He deserves some credit for that but what he did, unfortunately, whether it was in the heat of the moment or not, was indefensible.”

Kelly returned 0-7 during Armagh’s Division One campaign and only failed to score in one game, against Mayo.

His club, Clann Éireann, issued a statement on their Facebook page and referenced what they believe to be the “vilification” of the young forward.

“The vilification of Tiernan on social media over the last few days has been both unjust and unfair,” read the statement. “Tiernan has been, and always will be, a great ambassador for our club.”

It concluded that the GAA’s disciplinary process should be allowed to run its course and that people should “let this process take place before making judgement”.

Three-time All-Ireland winning Tyrone forward Owen Mulligan appealed for calm among social media users in particular.

“I really think we need to be careful here,” said Mulligan. “I’ve heard he has come out and apologised to the Galway set-up and to Damien Comer which is a step in the right direction and must count for something. Let’s remember that thankfully nobody was seriously hurt, this lad knows he’s done wrong, he probably feels awful so we should think twice before hanging him out to dry publicly.”

Speaking to Paddy Power, Mulligan also made claims of a “northern bias”.

“Let’s call a spade a space, this isn’t the first eye-gouge that we’ve seen in the GAA but have you ever seen such a fuss being made?” said Mulligan. “This is 100% northern bias, I’m telling you now, just have a look and read a lot of the Tweets and it’s all ‘typical northies’, ‘what do you expect from an Ulster team?’”

“I’m not for one second saying Armagh are angels, because they clearly are not, sure they’ve had plenty of incidents already this year and they’ve always been hard men who want to stick up for each other.

“The lad absolutely did wrong but there have been higher profile players who have got away with this. Where was the uproar from An Taoiseach and the phone-ins for these incidents? It’s been blown totally out of proportion.”