Ronan, who this year worked as strength and conditioning coach with the Kildare hurlers, slammed McMahon for his behaviour in a late second half incident involving Kieran Donaghy where it appeared his fingers make contact with the Kerry captain’s left eye. “McMahon should be made an example of, 3-6 month ban,” Ronan posted on Twitter. “Zero tolerance in rugby and blind eye by GAA. all fun and games until someone looses (sic) an eye , @starryboy14 (Donaghy) was lucky not too, career over then. Maximum ban should be given your eye site (sic) more important than winning an All Ireland. 3 month ban nothing less.”
Former Mayo footballer Ger Brady, also an ex-rugby player with Connacht, also weighed in on the issue on Twitter: “The first thing that should happen is an unreserved apology to Kieran Donaghy and a little bit of remorse wouldn’t go astray!”
It now appears likely the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) will investigate the matter. As David Coldrick took no action, they are empowered to address the incident retrospectively.
The GAA don’t have a rule that specifically deals with eye-gouging. However, the CCCC may chose to cite rule 5.27 of football’s playing rules which states that “to inflict an injury recklessly on an opponent by means other than” striking, kicking, stamping or attempting to strike or kick is a category IV offence. Such an alleged offence would carry a proposed two-match ban.
Ronan and Brady’s condemnation of McMahon comes in the wake of another former rugby player, Trevor Hogan, slamming the decision to show John Hanbury a yellow card for “a clear red” infringement on Seamus Callanan in the Galway-Tipperary All-Ireland SHC semi-final.