Dubs challenge McMahon ban

Dublin are set for another trip through the GAA’s appeals process after the county indicated it would contest Philly McMahon’s proposed one-match ban for his part in an incident with Kerry captain Kieran Donaghy during the All-Ireland football final.

The GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee had proposed a one-match ban for the incident, where McMahon’s hand made contact with Donaghy’s eyes.

But Dublin have decided to appeal the verdict and the case will be heard before the Central Hearings Committee.

If the ban is upheld, the Ballymun Kickhams manwill sit out the first match of Dublin’s 2016 league campaign, coincidentally against Kerry.

While video footage clearly showed McMahon’s hands made contact with Donaghy’s eye area, the player and Dublin contend that was purely accidental and refute any suggestion this was an eye-gouging incident.

“It was a slippy day, the ball was on the ground to be challenged. I went down to challenge the ball and he’s a big lad, trying to get around Kieran Donaghy is hard,” McMahon told RTÉ Sport the day after September’s All-Ireland final.

Donaghy had indicated his opposition to any ban, telling RTÉ Sport “An All-Ireland final is a one-off game and whatever happens I’d leave it at that. I wouldn’t be carrying anything into next year.”

Meanwhile, a sizeable delegation of Mayo players met county board representatives including county chairman Mike Connelly and county secretary Vincent Neary in a planned review meeting last night at McHale Park, Castlebar.

The meeting had been scheduled since the county’s All-Ireland semi-final replay defeat by Dublin, but took on fresh significance since the players’ revolt against joint senior managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly

Elsewhere, Donegal footballer Darach ‘Jigger’ O’Connor faces up to nine months on the sidelines after it was confirmed that he has he ruptured his cruciate.

The Buncrana clubman, who is the son of Roscommon legend, John, endured a frustrating 2015 and only played in one senior championship match, when he was introduced as a substitute in the Ulster final.

O’Connor — who started in the All-Ireland final last year — will go for surgery in the next couple of weeks and faces a tough battle to make it back in time for the 2016 Championship.

The injury is a blow to Rory Gallagher’s plans for the new season, as he would have hoped that O’Connor would have featured more often in his second year in charge.

The lively corner-forward was also expected to be make the Donegal U21 team for the fourth successive season, and new manager Declan Bonner says he will be a massive loss to his team.

“It’s a huge blow to us, because he has been involved with the under 21s for the last couple of years and he would have been very important to us this year.

“Unfortunately, he has been plagued with injuries, and this one will leave him out of action for a long time. His absence will be sorely felt by his club, the under-21s and the senior team,” he added.


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