GAA's one-game suspension for Donie Smith a 'cop out', says Owen Mulligan

GAA's one-game suspension for Donie Smith a 'cop out', says Owen Mulligan
Photo: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Former Tyrone attacker Owen Mulligan has criticised the GAA's proposed one-game suspension of Donie Smith for an apparent eye-gouge as a "cop out".

The incident occurred as the Roscommon forward and Mayo defender Keith Higgins battled for possession in their Division 1 league opener on Saturday.

"A one-match ban for Donie Smith is not good enough," Owen Mulligan told Paddy Power News.

"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."

Mulligan also said his native Tyrone appeared to lack hunger in their 0-11 to 0-7 defeat to Kerry. They only scored two points from play in that game.

"Tyrone weren't good enough against Kerry. Their forwards and movement didn't cut it, and they looked as if they lacked hunger.

"It's a very tough game [next-up against Mayo] and I hope Mickey Harte makes changes in the inside forward line. If Niall Sludden doesn't play up the middle Tyrone seem to suffer from that. Mickey Harte will know that Mayo are our bogey team."

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