‘Free-for-all’ at U-16 hurling clash leaves several injured

The gardaí and the GAA are conducting separate investigations into a free-for-all during an underage hurling match in Co Cork, involving players and supporters.

The brawl resulted in three people requiring medical treatment and one being held overnight in hospital.

Three juveniles subsequently made complaints to gardaí of being assaulted at the match which took place last Sunday evening.

Chaos ensued after on-field trouble erupted shortly after half-time in the Rebel Óg U-16 hurling championship encounter between Cork City northside-based St Vincent’s and Valley Rovers, from the Innishannon parish in West Cork.

Scores were level at the time and observers reported an on-the-pitch incident which sparked the intervention of an adult spectator and, this in turn, led to what witnesses described as “an appalling free-for-all” involving both adults and teenage players.

The referee was left with no choice but to abandon the match which was held at Ballinora. Superintendent Con Cadogan, heading an investigation, confirmed that last Monday, three juveniles accompanied by their parents arrived at Ballincollig Garda Station where they made formal complaints alleging they had been assaulted.

“An investigation is now continuing. We will be speaking to people who were at the match and the referee. We are also appealing for anybody with information to contact Ballincollig Garda Station at (021) 4871222,” Supt Cadogan said.

Cork GAA County Board sources said they were also carrying out their own investigation.

“As it is currently being investigated, we will be make no comment at this time. We may or may not make a comment depending on the outcome of the investigation,” a source said.

The investigation is being carried out by the county board’s disciplinary committee which will examine the referee’s report. It is expected the investigation could take a number of weeks to conclude.

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