Cork manager Ronan McCarthy fails to overturn 12-week suspension

McCarthy received ban after county’s footballers trained on Youghal beach during lockdown

Ronan McCarthy has failed in his bid to overturn a 12-week suspension. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Ronan McCarthy has failed in his bid to overturn a 12-week suspension. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Cork manager Ronan McCarthy has failed to overturn the 12-week suspension imposed for the team’s training session on Youghal beach in January. This was decided at Friday night’s hearing before the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA).

The episode took place during Covid lockdown and was contrary to the GAA’s directive that no such gatherings could take place while the country battled a third wave of coronavirus.

The ban was imposed under Rule 7.2 (e) or “discrediting the association” is due to expire in mid-May, just as the season starts and he will be eligible to attend Cork’s first league fixture.

The saga has now run through all the stages of the GAA’s disciplinary process, having been heard by the Central Hearings Committee and appealed to the Central Appeals Committee before going to a remote session of the GAA’s independent arbitration tribunal.

His argument that the decision to exceed the minimum suspension had not been substantiated fell on deaf ears, as the panel ruled that McCarthy “had failed to establish any misapplication of rule or breach of fair procedures by the Central Hearings Committee in their finding that the infraction had been proven”.

The statement from the DRA, published on their website, says that a full decision will be published in due course.

“An application to the DRA by Ronan McCarthy, challenging the decision of the Central Hearings Committee to impose a 12 week suspension for an infraction of Misconduct Considered to have Discredited the Association in breach of Rule 7.2 (e) T.O. 2020, which said decision had been upheld by the Central Appeals Committee, was heard remotely tonight by a DRA Tribunal comprised of Mr Rory Mulcahy SC, Mr Niall Cunningham and Ms Orlaith Mannion.

“Having considered detailed submissions from all parties, the Tribunal held that while the Central Hearings Committee had erred in failing to provide reasons for the imposition of a penalty in excess of the minimum set down in rule, the Claimant had failed to establish any misapplication of rule or breach of fair procedures by the Central Hearings Committee in their finding that the infraction had been proven.

“Therefore, the Tribunal dismissed the claim and the decision of the Central Hearings Committee stands. This statement is for information purposes only. The Tribunal’s full written decision will be communicated to the parties and published on the DRA website in due course.”

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