Suspension rules Diarmuid Byrnes out of Limerick’s game with Waterford

Incident involving Galway’s Jason Flynn was captured on TV cameras

Limerick will be without All Star wing back Diarmuid Byrnes for the weekend's league fixture against Waterford, a repeat of last year's Munster and All-Ireland finals. Byrnes has been suspended for one match by the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) for an incident at the end of last Sunday's defeat by Galway.

This left Galway replacement Jason Flynn on the ground after the final whistle and it later became apparent that the clash had been captured by television cameras. The CCCC launched an investigation and recommended the one-match ban.

Croke Park sources confirmed that no application for a hearing had been received by Thursday’s deadline and so the suspension takes effect for Sunday’s match in Walsh Park.

It was an appropriately controversial conclusion to a match, which attracted further attention for comments made by Limerick manager John Kiely, protesting the number of frees being awarded and accusing Galway players of simulation – an allegation he later "wholeheartedly" retracted and for which he apologised.


Galway chair Pat Kearney had made reference to the incident when responding to Kiely’s original comments, saying that the incident would be left to the authorities to deal with. After the Limerick manager’s retraction, he accepted the apology.

“I thought his comments at the time were completely out of kilter with the character of the man and it’s a measure of him that he has come out and sorted it out, and that, for us, is the end of the matter.”

On Thursday night, Galway named a team showing eight changes from that win over Limerick in Salthill for the next fixture against Tipperary. The headline selections are Joe Canning at centrefield, where he played after coming off the bench last Sunday, and serial All Star Daithí Burke, who returns for a first outing of the season in his customary role of full back and despite speculation that the hope is to play him farther out at centre back.

Afterwards manager Shane O’Neill sounded as if the Canning placement was a temporary selection but unless there’s a late switch, he starts in the middle on Saturday in Thurles.

“Yeah, he looked sharp to be honest with you. We thought just playing him out there in the middle of the field today, once he got up and running, just to have a small bit of freedom. So he was excellent.”

Among the players rotated are last week’s top scorer Evan Niland, who hit 0-14 from frees and Cathal Mannion, who was influential at centrefield. Both start on the bench, as do the entire full-back line from the Limerick match. It may or may not be the end of the Gearóid McInerney full-back experiment but at best the jury is still out.

One setback for the team is the injury to All-Ireland winning captain David Burke, whose first start last week yielded 0-2 but also a hamstring injury that prompted him to withdraw from the match for attention.

Meanwhile, the draw has been made for the 2021 TG4 All-Ireland women’s football championship.

Champions Dublin, who are after a fifth successive title, are drawn in a group with Waterford and Tyrone. All-Ireland finalists Cork play both Tipperary, who they also face in the opening fixture of this weekend’s Lidl National League and Meath, who came up from intermediate last year after winning the championship.

The 2020 semi-finalists Armagh and Galway are in groups with respectively, Cavan, Monaghan and Mayo and Kerry and Donegal.


Group A: Armagh, Cavan, Monaghan, Mayo.

Group B: Cork, Tipperary, Meath.

Group C: Dublin, Tyrone, Waterford.

Group D: Galway, Kerry, Donegal.


Group A: Westmeath, Longford, Wexford, Sligo.

Group B: Clare, Fermanagh, Leitrim.

Group C: Roscommon, Kildare, Laois.

Group D: Offaly, Down, Louth.

Junior: Five-team group with top four to progress to semi-finals:

Antrim, Carlow, Derry, Limerick, Wicklow.

GALWAY (AHL v Tipperary): E Murphy; D Morrissey, Daithí Burke, TJ Brennan; A Tuohey, P Mannion (capt), A Harte; J Canning, J Coen; J Cooney, J Flynn, C Cooney; B Concannon, K Cooney, C Whelan.

Subs: D Fahy, J Fitzpatrick, S Loftus, F Burke, G McInerney, D Kilcommins, J Mannion, N Burke, E Niland, C Mannion, J Hastings.