'Nasty turn' | 

Footage to be examined after GAA umpire ‘left bleeding’ after alleged assault at minor match

The man was allegedly set upon by at least two people as the match was being played at Sean Moore Park in Sandymount, south Dublin

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Laura LynottIndependent.ie

Mobile phone footage could prove crucial as gardaí investigate an alleged serious assault on a GAA official at an under-age match in Dublin.

An umpire was hurt during a minor hurling league game in Dublin yesterday morning.

The man was allegedly set upon by at least two people as the match was being played at Sean Moore Park in Sandymount, south Dublin.

An eyewitness told Independent.iethat the umpire could be seen with blood flowing from a head injury after the game between Naomh Fionnbarra and Clanna Gael Fontenoy was called off.

The witness said: “It’s the worst incident I’ve ever seen.”

It is understood that the aftermath of the incident was filmed, and other moments in the lead-up may have been caught on camera.

The incident took place at around 11.30am. Two players had been sent off, and after this happened, the “game turned nasty”.

“The referee abandoned the match after the umpire was assaulted by a number of people,” the witness said.

“His head was injured and he was bleeding. People got a doctor, but blood was pumping from his head. This was an under-18s hurling match. It’s disgraceful.”

The source said that one man, who was believed to have been involved in the alleged assault, had fled the scene in his car. “The umpire was down on the ground and all the mammies ran over to help him,” the source said.

A huge crowd had run towards one end of the pitch in a bid to prevent the alleged assault worsening.

Gardaí were called and the injured umpire was given medical treatment. He was said to be “badly shaken” with a facial wound and injured arm.

“He’s a lovely fella, a valued umpire,” the source said. “This is absolutely not on.”

Onlookers were shocked as the umpire is held in high esteem in local GAA circles.

Three gardaí arrived at the scene shortly after the


It is understood that a number of videos captured on mobile phone have been handed over to gardaí.

The two GAA clubs were contacted for comment.

A garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí received a report of an alleged incident at a GAA sports ground in Dublin 4 this afternoon Sunday, March 5. Enquiries are ongoing at this time.”

In recent months there has been a series of alleged assaults during GAA games.

Last October, the Munster Council was set to investigate after the alleged assault of a nine-year-old player at a Thurles game.

Prior to that, two club mentors in Wexford and another in Roscommon received lengthy suspensions after separate incidents.

And in September, an under 15 football championship game in Kilcummin, Co Kerry, was abandoned after an alleged sideline altercation. This resulted in one person being taken to hospital.

A fortnight beforehand, an under 11 game in Abbeydorney, Co Kerry, was called off after verbal abuse was directed at a referee.​Also, in September, a minor football semi-final between Castlebar Mitchels and Westport was called off after an altercation between a player and an adult non-player. A referee in Waterford also called an under 12 hurling match to a halt after comments were made towards him.

In October, the GAA launched a ‘Respect the Referee’ weekend, for senior county finals across one weekend.

Former GAA president Seán Kelly said clubs needed to get a grip on the problem of aggression by introducing tougher penalties.

Mr Kelly told Newstalk Breakfast that the sport had to take a zero-tolerance approach. “This must not become the norm,” he said.

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