With 12 minutes remaining in the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final against Donegal, Connolly received a straight red card for pushing Marty Boyle in the face and chest. Referee Maurice Deegan did not witness the off-the-ball incident but after consultation with linesman Rory Hickey, Deegan handed Connolly his marching orders. The Dublin County Board successfully appealed the decision, enabling him to feature in the decider against Kerry.
He was back on the line in November of 2013, having again been part of an off-the-ball incident during the closing stages of the Dublin SFC final replay between his native St Vincent’s and Ballymun Kickhams. Referee Darragh Sheppard showed Connolly red while Philly McMahon picked up a second yellow for his part in the scuffle.
Another All-Ireland semi-final, further red mist. 74 minutes into Dublin’s clash with Mayo two years ago, Connolly is red-carded by referee Joe McQuillan for attempting to strike Lee Keegan with his fist while the pair grappled on the ground. Connolly’s appeal is again successful, the DRA clearing his name the morning of the replay.
A yellow card was his punishment for putting Westmeath defender James Dolan in a headlock and wrestling him to the ground in the first-half of the 2016 Leinster final. In their subsequent outing against Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final, he went one better and twice drew yellow from Ciarán Branagan’s back pocket.
Himself and his good buddy Keegan were back at it in the All-Ireland final, both shown yellow cards in the drawn game.
Black has been his colour of choice in more recent times, being sent to the line during St Vincents’ Leinster club quarter-final win over Palatine and against Monaghan and Kerry in this year’s league.