Referee backed after investigation into Gonzaga head injury case
Gary Glennon insisted that Fiachra Keane be removed from the pitch after a clash of heads
Gonzaga’s team doctor, Paul Meagher, remonstrates with referee Gary Glennon following an incident which saw Fiachra Keane suffer a head injury. Photo: Gary Carr/Inpho
The Leinster Branch have again publicly supported referee Gary Glennon after an investigation concluded into the incident which saw Gonzaga’s Fiachra Keane removed with a head injury during his side’s Leinster schools cup match with Roscrea.
An emailed statement says that Glennon was correct in removing the player and reiterated the fact that the referee “is the ultimate arbiter of all games played at all levels and it is with he/she that any final decision rests with regard to on-field activity and this includes the removal of a player for medical reasons as detailed in IRB Law 3.9.”
After 54 minutes of the match Keane appeared to clash heads with a team-mate while tackling an opponent. Keane went to ground with his hand on his head and remained there as play continued.
Gonzaga’s nominated medical officer, Peter Meagher, came onto the pitch to treat Keane along with physio Niall Bevan.
On arriving at the scene Glennon realised that Meagher – a consultant plastic surgeon at the Beacon Hospital – was performing a form of HIA, by asking Keane questions, the referee judged this to be a suspected concussion and demanded a substitution.
A disagreement ensued as Meagher insisted that the player was not concussed.
Glennon maintained his stance that the player must be substituted and, after a lengthy exchange between referee, physio and medical officer, the player was removed.
The Leinster statement read: “The Leinster Rugby Schools Committee, chaired by Conor Montayne, has investigated an incident that occurred in the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup match between Cistercian College Roscrea and Gonzaga College on Thursday, 11th February.
“Following the investigation, the Leinster Rugby Schools Committee would like to publicly support referee Gary Glennon and to reaffirm that the referee is the ultimate arbiter of all games played at all levels and it is with he/she that any final decision rests with regard to on-field activity and this includes the removal of a player for medical reasons as detailed in IRB Law 3.9.”
It continued: “The Leinster Rugby Schools Committee would finally like to take this opportunity to again impress upon all those involved with the game at domestic level to educate themselves about their responsibilities to STOP - INFORM - REST - RETURN and if a player has any one of the signs or symptoms of concussion he/she should be removed from the field of play and not allowed to return.
“The Leinster Rugby Schools Committee will be making no further comment in relation to this investigation.”