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Armagh GAA club slams ‘unjust vilification’ of Tiernan Kelly after apparent eye gouge attempt

Player gets club backing after Croke Park melee with Galway
Armagh's Tiernan Kelly appeared to be attempting to eye-gouge Galway's Damien Comer during a violent melee at the All-Ireland quarter-final on Sunday. Image: RTÉ

Armagh's Tiernan Kelly appeared to be attempting to eye-gouge Galway's Damien Comer during a violent melee at the All-Ireland quarter-final on Sunday. Image: RTÉ

Colm KeysIndependent.ie

THE club of Tiernan Kelly, the Armagh extended panel member at the centre of eye gouging claims, in Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Galway has issued a statement describing the “vilification” he has received on social media over the last few days as “unjust and unfair.”

Describing him as a "great ambassador for our club,” Clann Eireann said they will protect the player and his family “from those who don't know him.”

The Lurgan-based club, through its management committee, said one incident should “NOT define a man”, the use of capital letters in the statement emphasises their depth of feeling on it.

Kelly has been in the spotlight since the incident with Galway’s Damien Comer at the end of normal time when rival players clashed as they left the field in Croke Park to prepare for extra-time.

The GAA’s Central Competition Controls Committee have met to look into all the incidents from Sunday's game and are expected to issue proposed penalties as the week goes on.

Clann Eireann’s immediate concern is for Kelly, however. “As a club, the well-being of our playing members is of the utmost importance to us,” it was outlined in a statement.

"As a club, and a family, we will support and protect Tiernan and his family from those who don’t know him.

“The vilification of Tiernan on social media over the last few days has been both unjust and unfair. Tiernan has been, and always will be, a great ambassador for our club.

“Anyone who knows him, will know the dedication and hard work he puts into both his club and county, along with the time he spends coaching and encouraging our young Gaels. His dedication to the GAA, both on the field and behind the scenes, has been nothing short of amazing.

“One moment does NOT define a man. The GAA will have its due process regarding the issue. We would ask people to let this process take place before making judgement.”


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