Galway's Barry McHugh set to be cleared amid slo-mo footage doubts

Galway's Barry McHugh set to be cleared amid slo-mo footage doubts

By John Fogarty

Galway forward Barry McHugh is not expected to be cited for making contact with Michael Darragh Macauley’s face during Sunday’s Division 1 league final.

TG4 footage shows McHugh’s fingers touching Macauley’s mouth in a first-half incident, which saw Macauley and Paul Conroy yellow-carded.

As referee Anthony Nolan didn’t appear to see the incident, the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) would have the power to propose a retrospective penalty if they thought it was warranted.

However, it’s believed McHugh is not at risk of being banned for the Connacht quarter-final against Mayo in Castlebar on May 13 as the evidence is not conclusive and the slow-motion footage appears to make the exchange worse than it is.

Two years ago, there were calls for Dublin’s James McCarthy to be suspended after video stills showed his left thumb entering the eye area of Donegal’s Martin McElhinney in a Division 1 game in Croke Park.

However, similar to the McHugh incident, the incident was exaggerated by a slowed down version of the incident and McCarthy wasn’t punished.

Former CCCC chairman Tony O’Keeffe has previously spoken about the dangers of slo-mo footage.

Three years ago, Philly McMahon was handed a one-match ban for eye-gouging Kieran Donaghy in the All-Ireland final.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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