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'The reality is that they don't have a leg to stand on' - Brolly slams McCann ban

“The point is that here’s a specfic offence and there’s a specific penalty for it.”

Brolly described the ban as
Brolly described the ban as "unlawful".
Image: Lorcan Doherty

SUNDAY GAME PUNDIT Joe Brolly says the GAA “don’t have a leg to stand on” regarding the proposed 8-week ban for Tyrone’s Tiernan McCann.

McCann feigned injury when Monaghan’s Darren Hughes raised a hand to his hair during last Saturday’s All-Ireland football quarter final at Croke Park, with the GAA community reacting angrily to the Tyrone player’s dive.

After several days of debate, the GAA have handed down a proposed 8-week suspension to the Tyrone forward, despite the fact that the usual punishment for feigning injury is just a yellow card.

Speaking on Game On, on RTE’s 2fm, Sunday Game pundit and barrister by trade Joe Brolly says that while he agrees in principle that an 8-week ban is suitable for the offence, the GAA are being “unlawful” by changing the rule book.

“In short the law of statutory interpretation applies to any rule, and in this case, the lawmaker – which is congress – created a specific offence in rule 5 which is to attempt to achieve an advantage by feigning a foul of injury, and the penalty for the is a yellow card.

Tiernan McCann surrounded by Monaghan players Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“The point is that here’s a specific offence and there’s a specific penalty fir it. The purpose of the law is so that a player and the disciplinary bodies are clear as to what the law is, and the GAA public is clear as to what the law is and what the offence is.

“It has two purposes, the first purpose is that we know what the rules are, and the second purpose is that it prevents the lawmaker from abusing his power.

“Congress decided that,. That’s the rule. I don’t like it, I must say. I think the penalty should be a red card for feigning injury and that the minimum ban should be eight weeks,” he said.

Brolly said that while he’s been a fierce critic of several Tyrone players in recent years, he morally objects to the nature of the way the punishment has been handed down to McCann.

“I mean no one’s been as trenchant a critic of Tyrone’s cynicism than I’ve been over the years. I thoroughly dislike it, i think it’s poisonous for the ethos of the game, and there’s no doubt that there’s a good moral reason why the GAA have taken this stance.
“The only reason that they’re doing it in this circumstance is because the punishment they created themselves for the offence of feigning, they now think that’s not a sufficient punishment.”

Brolly added that McCann – who has three days to respond to the charge – is a product of repeated cynicism from Tyrone sides down the years, criticising the way that manager Mickey Harte defended the player on Monday.

“I think for example that the culture of cynicism that they created has become so entrenched in Tyrone, that that is their new reality.

“It actually isn’t Tiernan’s fault because he’s come up in a culture whereof that where it’s entirely acceptable.”

You can listen to Brolly’s full interview on Game On below.


Source: RTÉ2fm/SoundCloud

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