Cody escapes ban for ‘criminal’ ref blast

Brian Cody has avoided suspension for comments about referee Barry Kelly in the wake of Kilkenny’s All-Ireland hurling final replay win over Tipperary last month.

Cody escapes ban for ‘criminal’ ref blast

Cody was warned as to his future conduct, however, which amounts to little more than a light slap on the wrists for comments that caused a major stir, and the decision is unlikely to go down well with the GAA’s refereeing fraternity.

The Kilkenny manager described Kelly’s decision to give a last-gasp free to Tipperary — which almost yielded the winning score for the Munster county — as “criminal” at the team hotel on the morning after the sides’ second meeting.

“At the end of the day, (Tipperary) were handed an opportunity with the last puck of the game the last day in the wrong to win the game,” Cody had said. “They were handed an opportunity by a complete wrong decision.

“We didn’t speak about it the last day, but it was criminal what was done the last day. And people can say that I am whingeing and moaning all they like, but I am telling the truth here.”

Comments about officials carry a minimum eight-week suspension, but the Central Hearings Committee met on Thursday night and decided that the 10-time winning All-Ireland manager did not have a case to answer.

A statement from Croke Park said: “An Lár Choiste Éisteachta considered comments attributed to Briain Mac Óda in the national media did not constitute misconduct considered to have discredited the Association. However, Briain Mac Óda was warned as to his future conduct in media interviews.”

Kilkenny board chairman Ned Quinn opted not to comment when contacted about the decision by the Irish Examiner yesterday evening.

However, the association did hand down a 24-week ban to an Armagh fan for what it described as “disruptive behaviour” prior to the county’s Ulster Football Championship meeting with Cavan last May.

Meanwhile, favourite Rory Gallagher is one of at least three names in the hat to succeed Jim McGuinness as manager of Donegal.

Gallagher confirmed his interest as he was nominated by Kilcar, where he is the current joint-manager with John McNulty, before yesterday’s 5pm deadline. The former Cavan and Fermanagh footballer lives in Killybegs and was McGuinness’s assistant in 2012 as Donegal won the All-Ireland championship.

Earlier in the week, it became known that Cathal Corey’s name had been put forward by Naomh Conaill and Paddy Carr was nominated by Fanad Gaels.

Corey took the Glenties club to the 2010 Ulster club championship final, only to lose to Crossmaglen Rangers, having seen off Killybegs in the Donegal decider. A year beforehand, Corey, who is from Kildress, Co Tyrone, was joint-manager of Naomh Conaill with McGuinness.

Fanad native Carr, who has also had spells with Meath minors and Louth seniors, is best known for managing Kilmacud Crokes to the 2009 All-Ireland club championship. The Navan-based teacher managed Burren to last year’s Down SFC final, where they lost to Kilcoo.

Aside these three names, Donegal country secretary Aodh Mairtín O’Fearraigh hinted yesterday there may be more nominations for the senior position. Donegal are also seeking an U21 and a minor manager after Declan Bonner and Maxi Curran’s terms recently ended. Both, it is understood, have been nominated to continue in their roles next year.

O’Fearraigh said yesterday:

“We expect to have three names for the three positions to go before the clubs at the next sitting of county committee, which takes place on Monday, November 3.”

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