Chairman Maurice Leamy says members of the Silvermines club have been left “absolutely flabbergasted” by the one-match suspension that will see Jason Forde miss out on Sunday’s Munster SHC quarter-final against Cork.
And Leamy believes Forde is collateral damage in a bid by GAA disciplinary chiefs to suspend Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald for eight weeks.
Forde clashed with Fitzgerald when Tipperary beat Wexford in the Allianz Hurling League semi-final at Nowlan Park last month, an incident that led to a heavy ban for Fitzgerald. Forde had a proposed two-match ban reduced to one at Central Hearings Committee level, before his appeal to the Central Appeals Committee failed at Croke Park Tuesday evening.
Tipperary have decided not to take a final step and seek a hearing with the independent Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA), and Forde will play no part against the Rebels, having started the Premier County’s last three league fixtures of the campaign at midfield.
Leamy said: “We’re absolutely flabbergasted with what’s happened Jason. I’ll tell you why — the dogs on the street know he’s a gentleman on and off the field.
“He’s an absolute pleasure to have in our club, he’s so interested in the development of children and showing young kids how to hurl. I feel he was goaded into a reaction by Davy and I don’t know how he got his one-match ban.”
Leamy added: “We steered away from talking to him (Forde) about it, he was very upset. I met his father in Dolla last night and Jason was on his way up to the appeal.
“His father told me he was nervous about it all day and all weekend, about this appeal coming up. I would have expected him to start (against Cork). The gas thing I find about this is that someone can pull a very bad stroke on the field and nothing happens to them.
“I’m not singling out anybody but a Wexford lad (Aidan Nolan) came in and had a right go at Jason, after he had a go at Davy, but his name has never been mentioned.
“There’s such a thing as fair play and what’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. We feel Jason has been singled out and we genuinely steered clear of talking to him about it, because he was so disappointed and nervous about it.”
Expressing his view GAA authorities had to be seen to act against Forde, in an attempt to have the Fitzgerald ban ‘stick,’ Leamy added: “They used Jason as a rod to get at Fitzgerald.
“He’s going to have to serve his one-game ban, it’s very unjust, and he’s the most inoffensive man we’ve ever had in the club. I’d say he’s one of the cleanest players we’ve ever had play hurling in Silvermines GAA club.
“We’re very disappointed that Jason hasn’t been given the chance to start in the first round of the Munster championship. He worked hard all year for it and to see this chance taken from his grasp is a crying shame.
“I feel this opportunity has been taken from him as a means to get at Davy Fitzgerald, in a roundabout way.”
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