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Diarmuid Connolly faces 12-week ban for linesman incident

Diarmuid Connolly's clash with linesman Ciaran Branagan on Saturday evening
Diarmuid Connolly's clash with linesman Ciaran Branagan on Saturday evening

Diarmuid Connolly is set to miss the bulk of the Championship after being hit with a proposed 12-week ban today for an incident during Dublin's win over Carlow on Saturday in Portlaoise.

After a quiet first-half where he was held scoreless by Daniel St Ledger, Connolly was incensed early in the second-half when Branagan flagged a Carlow ball when Connolly was convinced that the restart should have been awarded to Dublin.

Branagan's decision infuriated Connolly to the point where he made contact with the linesman twice after already engaging in a separate altercation with Brendan Murphy and his Carlow teammates.

The St Vincents forward was already on a yellow card for a high tackle earlier in the half, and he was lucky to stay on the field after physically confronting Branagan.

As part of the GAA's revamped system of suspensions, a category V offence can warrant the immediate sending off of an offender if the player makes a 'minor physical interference with a match official e.g. laying a hand on, pushing, pulling, jostling'.

Tipperary goalkeeper Evan Comerford was suspended for 12 weeks last week following an altercation with an official in a club game on Tuesday evening with referee Paddy Russell reporting him for a “minor physical interference”.

Connolly now faces a 12 week ban following the decision of the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee to recommend taking action against him.
 
However, his case has yet to be heard by the GAA’s Central Hearings Committee which has the authority to actually impose the ban as proposed by the CCCC. Alternatively they can throw out the case.
 
If the CHC accept the recommendation of the CCCC, Connolly has the right to appeal his case to the GAA’s Central Hearings Committee and he has a further option to take the case of the Disputes Resolution Authority.
 
In 2015 Connolly successfully took a case to the DRA following his sending off in the drawn semi-final against Mayo. He was cleared hours before the replay.

If the ban does go ahead, Connolly won't appear again for the Dubs until the All-Ireland semi-final stage.