The Kerry player said in his recently published autobiography that he had revealed his intentions to Paul Galvin the night before the game. Though he could have been shown a red card, referee Marty Duffy decided that a free to Cork was sufficient sanction at the time.
The matter was subsequently addressed by the Central Competitions Control Committee who declined the opportunity to suggest any suspension for the player but GAA president Christy Cooney has revealed that the Management Committee could still decide to pursue the matter.
“The CCC have dealt with the matter already,” said Cooney. “If Coiste Banaisti feels it’s appropriate that some form of action should be taken with regard to the comments then Coiste Banaisti can review that and take the appropriate action.”
Asked whether the comment or the actual foul would be considered, Cooney responded: “It would be the whole situation, in actual fact.”
Kennelly could conceivably be charged with discrediting the association, an offence which carries a minimum eight-week ban but, with the close season now in full swing, that would amount to a token slap on the wrists even if there was an appetite to go through with it.
Kennelly’s manager, Jack O’Connor, said yesterday that the foul was “not the Kerry way” and that he could not condone what had happened in any shape or form. O’Connor himself had not been appraised of the player’s intentions beforehand.
“I haven’t discussed it with him,” he said. “I didn’t know about it until Sunday when I read the paper. What can I say? I’d need to talk to the man himself to see where he’s coming from because it certainly wasn’t part of our modus operandi.
“Our plan going into the final was to avoid Cork’s physicality. That’s one of their strengths. They are a huge, strong team and our game plan was to keep the ball moving as quick as we could.
“If you are going to pick a Cork man to hit, it isn’t going to be Nicholas Murphy – the biggest and strongest man out on the field. I just think Tadgh was hyped up and tore into the first red jersey he saw. I need to talk to him to see where he’s coming from.”
Had Duffy taken a more hardline approach, Kennelly could have found himself sitting on the sideline with over 69 minutes to play. As it was, he stayed on the field and played a crucial part in curbing Graham Canty’s influence while scoring two points himself.
“There are two things you have to take into consideration,” said O’Connor. “It was his first All-Ireland final so he was obviously hyped up but, at the same time, you have to play with controlled aggression. If you are out of control it is a dangerous situation.
“I was under the impression until I read it that it was an accidental clash. It’s a bit disappointing the way it came out. I’d rather let the man himself defend himself and explain it rather than having me condemn him.”