Mullane fate remains undecided

THE FATE of Waterford All Star hurler John Mullane hung in the balance last night as County Board officials awaited a Croke Park communiqué concerning his availability for the August 8 All-Ireland semi-final.

The expectation was the GAC decision in the Mullane affair following his Munster final dismissal against Cork would have been conveyed to Waterford officials yesterday.

If the decision goes against Mullane and he is banned for one month and one match - the All-Ireland semi-final - he will lodge a formal appeal to Croke Park.

Waterford maintain the one-match suspension applies to the next match in the competition in which Mullane was red-carded, and that should be the first round of the 2005 Munster SHC.

“There is clear precedence there to support that viewpoint and we will continue to press it as forcibly as we can to ensure a fair deal for the player,” board chairman Paddy Joe Ryan said.

However, while senior officials have not advocated going to the High Court - as Westmeath’s football midfielder Rory O’Connell did successfully last week - there was support for such a measure at Monday’s County Board meeting in Dungarvan.

Kilrossanty delegate Tony Coffey urged the board to back Mullane in such a decision to ensure the player is available for the next month’s All-Ireland semi-final.

“Clearly the next match ‘in the competition’ refers to the Munster championship,” Mr Coffey said.

“The All-Ireland is totally different. If it takes going to the High Court then we shouldn’t hesitate,” he added.

Offaly’s Brian Whelahan won’t make any decision on his inter-county career until the end of the year.

Unable to play with Offaly against Clare last weekend due to injury, Whelahan is hoping to play a part with Birr in tomorrow night’s SHC clash against Kilcormac, a game both must win to stay in the title race.

“Any decision about my inter- county career won’t be made until the end of the season. There will be plenty of time to dwell on that during the winter months,” said Whelahan.

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