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Owen Mulligan labels Donie Smith's one-match ban as a 'cop-out'

The Roscommon player was involved in an alleged eye-gouge on Mayo’s Keith Higgins last Saturday night.

Donie Smith (right) clashes with Mayo's Keith Higgins.
Donie Smith (right) clashes with Mayo's Keith Higgins.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

OWEN MULLIGAN HAS called the one-match ban proposed for Roscommon’s Donie Smith for an alleged eye-gouge on Keith Higgins as a “cop-out”. 

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) reviewed footage of a clash between the players during last Saturday’s Allianz League game in which Smith appeared to make contact with Higgins’ left eye, and have proposed a one-game ban for the Roscommon player, deeming it a ‘Category Three’ offence. 

Speaking to Paddy Power, Tyrone legend Mulligan said a one-match ban for the offence is inadequate. 

A one-match ban for Donie Smith is not good enough. If you strike with the head or kick someone you could get three months. To do what Smith did was a bad act. It’s probably one of the worst things you can do in GAA, along with spitting. To do what he did and only get a one-game suspension is a cop out from the GAA committee.

“I know it’s only the start of the National League and you don’t want to be handing out hefty bans, but it’s definitely a bad, bad offense. It didn’t look good on the television for a start on the first League game of the season. I know Roscommon and Mayo are rivals, but you have to respect your opponents in some way and be hard, but fair.

“If the GAA had given him a healthy ban, it would stamp that kind of behaviour out. The suspension Smith received sends the wrong message out to current players and youngsters. It can’t go on as it stands, it should be a three-month banning offence.”

Roscommon face Monaghan at Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday at 2.30pm. 

Gavin Cooney
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