Liam Cahill will be on the line in Thurles on Sunday after the red card shown to him by referee Seán Stack at the end last Sunday’s championship draw with Limerick, was overturned.
The sending off, reportedly for the verbal abuse of linesman James Owens over a disputed lineball, prompted the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) to recommend a four-week suspension.
Cahill opted for a hearing and on Thursday night the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) found that the infraction was “not proven” because the “evidence presented” contradicted the referee’s report.
This is believed to reflect the fact that the linesman reported to the referee what was said to him rather than citing it specifically as “abusive language”.
The statement however doesn’t provide any further clarification.
The finding is likely to prove controversial in the light of last year’s Respect the Referee initiative and the more stringent penalties agreed by February’s annual congress, which also decided that any hearings committee deeming an infraction unproven must provide reasons.
[ John McGrath’s nerve holds as Tipperary and Limerick play out thrilling draw ]
The statement reads as follows:
“An Lár Choiste Cheannais na gComortaisí (CCCC) took disciplinary action against Liam Ó Cathail, alleging a breach of Riail 7.2 (c), Category II (a), T.O. 2023, that is to say, “Abusive language towards a linesman”.
“Liam Ó Cathail requested a hearing which took place on 25ú Bealtaine 2023. An Lár Choiste Éisteachta (CHC) found the infraction not proven, and so no penalty is imposed.
“Having considered all the evidence provided and the submissions made on behalf of both parties, it was the decision of An Lár Choiste Éisteachta (CHC) that the evidence presented by Liam Ó Cathail did contradict the referee’s report.
“This decision was taken pursuant to Rialacha 7.2, 7.3 T.O. 2023.”