Sligo GAA chiefs in crunch talks as referees consider strike action

SLIGO GAA officials meet tonight in a bid to avoid a strike by referees in the county.

Sligo GAA chiefs in crunch talks as referees consider strike action

Whistleblowers in the Yeats county are understood to be livid after the county’s hearings committee rescinded a red card dished out to county star Mark Breheny.

Breheny was red-carded against Tourlestrane in a pool match the weekend before last but was free to play in the quarter-finals on Saturday following a contentious decision by the county’s hearing committee.

The hearing committee voted 2-2 on the issue but Breheny was cleared to play on the casting vote of the stand-in chairman of the committee.

The chairman of the hearing committee, Michael Leonard, stood down from the meeting as his club Tourlestrane was involved. The meeting was chaired by Christy Murphy from the St John’s club.

Murphy was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Referee Gus Chapman, who issued the red card to Breheny, also declined to comment when contacted yesterday.

The chairman of the Sligo county board, Cyril Feehily and chairman of the Sligo referee’s committee Pat Conway were also unavailable for comment yesterday, but a spokesperson for Sligo county board confirmed the row will be up for discussion at tonight’s meeting.

“The county board executive will meet on Thursday night and I’m sure they will bring it to a finish there,” said the spokesperson. “We have some games to be played this weekend and as a county board we have done all we can.

“I think the referees have met but I don’t know what they have decided,” said the spokesperson.

Breheny scored 1-4 for St Mary’s in Saturday’s quarter-final but it was not enough to prevent them bowing out of the Sligo SFC by 0-16 to 1-11.

It is understood that Sligo referees met on Sunday evening to discuss the controversy and are contemplating strike action.

The chairman of the National Referees Committee, Mick Curley, said he had not been made aware of the controversy.

The Sligo senior football championship semi-finals are due to be played the weekend after next when Tourlestrane will bid for revenge for last year’s final defeat to Eastern Harps, while Coolera/Strandhill meet Curry in a repeat of the 2005 decider.

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