South Tipp board probe alleged assault

OFFICIALS in South Tipperary have launched an investigation after a match was abandoned in the division for the fourth time this year.

Referee Donie Cahill has submitted his match report to board officials after he called a halt to the South SFC clash between Killenaule and Clonmel Commercials at Ballyporeen last Tuesday evening.

It is alleged that Killenaule player John O’Dwyer, a member of Tipperary’s U21 All-Ireland winning hurling team, was struck near the touchline late in the match. The South Tipperary board is coming under increasing pressure to consider the expulsion of teams from their competitions following this latest incident of on-field violence.

Heavy fines and suspensions could be dished out but a plethora of serious incidents in the area is a growing concern and a problem that has proven difficult to address.

South Board secretary Noel Byrne said that he would not comment until he studies the report from referee Cahill, who took charge of the fixture.

Sources close to referee Cahill have revealed that what took place was a “serious incident” and that he had no hesitation in terminating the match after a melee broke out. Last month, former All-Ireland SHC final referee Willie Barrett abandoned a match in South Tipp for the second time this year.

Barrett, who had experienced no such problems in his previous 30 years of refereeing, abandoned the South U21 hurling semi-final between Ballingarry and Moyle Rovers.

Last April, Barrett called a halt to the South senior hurling championship clash involving Ballingarry and Carrick Davin when he was struck with a hurley by a spectator.

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