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Dunne, Duff, McHale - 11 famous players sent off in All-Ireland finals

Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan joins an unfortunate group of players who have been dismissed on the big day.

Benny Dunne, Kieran Duff and Liam McHale have all been sent off in All-Ireland finals.
Benny Dunne, Kieran Duff and Liam McHale have all been sent off in All-Ireland finals.
Image: Inpho/Photojoiner.net

THE DISMISSAL OF Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan was a major talking point following their All-Ireland SHC final defeat to Tipperary.

Many felt referee James Owens had no choice but to reach for the red card after the head-high challenge on Cathal Barrett. Others argued it was a harsh call that spoiled the occasion. 

It was certainly a key turning point in the game as Tipperary gradually worked their way into the ascendancy on their way to a 14-point win.

Hogan now joins an unfortunate group of players who have all been sent off in All-Ireland finals.

Ciaran Duff supported by Brian Mullins Duff and Brian Mullins in action for Dublin in 1983. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Kieran Duff/Brian Mullins – 1983 All-Ireland Football final

The ’83 All-Ireland football final ended with a 12-man Dublin team edging out Galway to lift the Sam Maguire.

Four players in total were sent off that day, while the victorious Dublin team came to be known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’ in light of the violent exchanges that blighted the game. They were also known in other quarters as ‘The 12 Apostles.’

Dublin defender Ray Hazeley and Galway’s Tomás Tierney were both removed from play following a tussle, but Brian Mullins and Kieran Duff were the most noteworthy dismissals of the game.

Mullins was sent to the line for landing a haymaker of a shot to Brian Talty’s face as they contested a high ball, while Duff was adjudged to have kicked Pat O’Neill in the face.

Colm Coyle of Meath and Mayo's Liam McHale All Ireland Football final replay 1996 Referee Pat McEnaney pointing Coyle and McHale to the line in the '96 replay. Source: © Matt Browne/INPHO

Liam McHale/Colm Coyle – 1996 All-Ireland Football Final replay

The replay of the 1996 All-Ireland SFC final between Mayo and Meath was only five minutes old when the sides collided in an all-out brawl.

Nearly every player converged on the incident which escalated within seconds as referee Pat McEnaney struggled to restore order. The melee received meticulous attention on the Sunday Game at the time, with Pat Spillane offering a comical blow-by-blow account of what happened.

Several players could have been put off for their actions, but Meath midfielder Liam McHale and Meath defender Colm Coyle were the victims who paid the price for everyone involved.

Meath came away as narrow winners, but many still argue that McHale’s absence contributed to Mayo’s demise.

Benny Dunne is met by non playing captain Willie Ryan after being sent off Dunne takes his seat in the stand after being sent off in the 2009 All-Ireland final. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Benny Dunne – 2009 All-Ireland Hurling Final

Tipperary would eventually crush the Cats’ shot at five-in-a-row history in 2010, but they would have to taste defeat in ’09 when they were reduced to 14 men.

Benny Dunne was introduced as a second-half substitute but his game finished abruptly after he was issued a straight red card for a wild pull across the face of Kilkenny defender Tommy Walsh.

Kilkenny made use of the numerical advantage to clinch the title, hitting a late brace of goals to power them to victory.

John Small/Donal Vaughan – 2017 All-Ireland Football Final

Source: GAA & Soccer Clips/YouTube

Dublin completed a three-in-a-row in the 2017 decider, with both sides finishing the tie with 14 men after a double dismissal in the second half.

Dublin defender John Small cracked into Colm Boyle with a high challenge which resulted in a second yellow for the Ballymun Kickhams player.

In the same incident, Mayo’s Donal Vaughan arrived late to charge at Small for the tackle on his team-mate, forcing referee Joe McQuillan to issue a red card.

Eamonn Scallan – 1996 All-Ireland Hurling final

Wexford team 1996 The victorious Wexford team in 1996. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Wexford ended a 28-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1996, overcoming Limerick in the All-Ireland final.

Tensions rose towards the end of the first half as exchanges became more fraught. Names were taken for various challenges, but it was Wexford attacker Eamonn Scallan who was sent off for a wild pull while the referee was throwing the ball in.

His absence didn’t affect Liam Griffin’s side however, as they stormed to a stunning victory.

Diarmaid Marsden – 2003 All-Ireland Football final

Diarmaid Marsden is sent off Marsden saw red in the 2003 All-Ireland final. Source: INPHO

Armagh were the defending All-Ireland champions when they took on their neighbours Tyrone in the 2003 final.

It was a closely fought encounter, but a decisive moment arrived in the 56th minute of the game when Armagh lost key forward Diarmaid Marsden to a red card for hitting Philip Jordan in the face when the Tyrone defender was rushing in to challenge him.

The holders were trailing by three points at the time of Marsden’s removal from the game and Tyrone held on to win their maiden senior All-Ireland title.

Charlie Redmond – 1995 All-Ireland Football Final

Charlie Redmond 1995 Redmond pleading his case with referee Paddy Russell in 1995. Source: INPHO

The 1995 All-Ireland final witnessed one of the more bizarre sending off episodes in GAA history.

With eventual champions Dublin leading Tyrone by three points, ace forward Charlie Redmond was put off by referee Paddy Russell for an attempted headbutt.

Strangely however, Redmond remained on the pitch and tried to play on. He jokingly told the Irish Examiner last year that he thought the referee was waving to his family in the crowd at the time.

Redmond was spotted a few minutes later and was eventually ordered off the field.

Tony Davis – 1993 All-Ireland Football final

Tony Davies is sent off  1993 Tony Davis after his dismissal in 1993. Source: INPHO

There were magical scenes when Derry trumped the Rebels to lift the Sam Maguire for the first time in 1993.

Cork made the brighter start but the Ulster side fought back as the first half progressed to lead by three at the break.

The Munster side suffered a huge blow when star defender Tony Davis was dismissed for a late challenge on Dermot Heaney.

Davis protested that he led with the shoulder, but the referee ignored his pleas as he sent the Skibbereen man to the line.

Have we left out any famous sending-off incidents in All-Ireland finals? Let us know in the comment section below.

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