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Tiernan Kelly of Armagh faces six-month suspension after alleged eye gouge at All-Ireland quarter-final melee

The GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee are believed to have proposed sanctions for up to four players
The incident involving Tiernan Kelly and Damien Comer. Photo by Inpho/James Crombie

The incident involving Tiernan Kelly and Damien Comer. Photo by Inpho/James Crombie

Colm KeysSunday World

Armagh's Tiernan Kelly is facing a six-month suspension from the GAA after his alleged eye-gouge on Galway's Damien Comer in Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final

The GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee concluded its investigation into melee and are believed to have proposed sanctions for up to four players involved.

Two more of Kelly's Armagh colleagues, substitutes Blaine Hughes and Conor Turbitt, are understood to have been identified by the committee and charged. A Galway squad member, Cathal Sweeney, is also facing a proposed suspension. All three have been charged with behaving dangerously towards an opponent which carries a one-match ban.

If Kelly accepts he will not be able to play for his club for the remainder of the year though he is currently out injured and wasn't part of the official squad on Sunday.

He will however not miss any Armagh game and will be available for their pre-season games in January 2023.

The proposed suspension is time-based, not match-based, but there is no mechanism in GAA rule to defer a time-based suspension so that it covers inter-county activity only.

The Clann Eireann man, in addition to the other three players, has the option of seeking a hearing to challenge the ban.

Both county boards are also facing heavy fines for their players' involvement, believed to be €10,000.

Galway and Armagh have also been notified of proposed one-match bans for Sean Kelly and Aidan Nugent, the respective captain and joint captain who were sent off for contributing to the melee. Greg McCabe has also been notified of a proposed one match ban, doubled to two because he has already been suspended for a similar category offence earlier this year, for his red card, a high challenge that was deemed dangerous play.

While the onus is on the counties and the players themselves to provide evidence that they didn't do as reported, it appears that they will have a strong chance of having their proposed suspensions overturned.

Galway are challenging Kelly's suspension and he could have his hearing as early as tonight.


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