Brennan banned for life

Former Ireland lock Trevor Brennan has been banned from rugby union for life by the European Rugby Cup for striking an Ulster…

Former Ireland lock Trevor Brennan has been banned from rugby union for life by the European Rugby Cup for striking an Ulster supporter during Toulouse's Heineken Cup tie with the province in January.

Brennan had somewhat pre-empted the verdict this week by announcing his retirement but the severity of the punishment which includes significant financial sanctions is huge blemish on a remarkable career.

The ERC's investigation found that Brennan "entered one of the seating areas in the stadium and repeatedly struck an Ulster spectator namely Mr Patrick Bamford."

In addition to the lifetime ban Brennan has also been ordered to pay a fine of €25,000 and €5,000 compensation to Mr Bamford.


In a statement today the ERC said that Brennan's behaviour was "completely unjustified and that he caused serious harm to an innocent spectator and significant damage to the image of Rugby Union."

Crucially it added the committee "could not envisage more serious Misconduct in relation to spectators and believed that the maximum permissible suspension was appropriate.

"The Committee therefore imposed on Mr Brennan a lifetime suspension from playing rugby union and also imposed a lifetime ban on Mr Brennan from participating in any capacity in tournaments organised by ERC."

Brennan had sought an adjournment of the hearing on the grounds that it might prejudice any civil action taken by Mr Bamford, but this was denied and ultimately led to his decision to retire.

Brennan, who was capped 13 times for Ireland, said at the beginning of the week that it was his intention to retire at the end of this season anyhow, but today's ban is not only from playing the game but from having any participation in an ERC event.

Brennan had been suspended by the French Rugby Federation until yesterday after the International Rugby Board requested Toulouse adopt the measure "in the interests of the game".

Bamford (25) required medical treatment at the ground and also on his return home to London and has since begun criminal and civil proceedings.

Announcing his retirement on Monday Brennan said: "I had decided at the beginning of this season that I would retire at the end of the current French Championship.

"This journey started in 1982 in Barnhall and continued with Bective Rangers, St Mary's College, Leinster and Ireland before finishing with Stade Toulousain. It has been a fantastic trip.

"I have made great friends along the way. I hope people remember the good times, winning the AIL, the Celtic League, the interprovincial championship, the European Cup and my 13 caps with Ireland.

"I would like to thank everybody who has helped me throughout these years."

Carl O'Malley

Carl O'Malley

The late Carl O'Malley was an Irish Times sports journalist