Tiernan McCann may have been getting all the headlines this week but it's Mayo's Kevin Keane who is now the subject of quite a bit of controversy. Keane was a footnote of the reports from Wednesday meeting of the Central Hearings Committee in which both he and McCann had their respective bans overturned, thus leaving them free to play a part in the All Ireland semi-finals.
But, while it is accepted that McCann was always likely to have his much publicised ban overturned, GAA officials are less than happy about the CHC's decision to rescind Keane's red card.
The Mayo corner back was sent off after what seemed like a fairly clear cut strike to the face of Michael Murphy during the quarter final victory over Donegal. The initial announcement that Keane's offence had been downgraded to a yellow card was met with quite a bit of criticism from fans.
@MayoGAA bad decision. How on earth can that be justified. Blatantly punched Murphy in face.
— Richard Sheehan (@risteard69) August 19, 2015
@MayoGAA New rules....a punch to the face is now only a yellow card...hilarious stuff...you couldn't make it up!!!
— alan lacey (@redlordmuck) August 19, 2015
Whatever about Tiarnan McCann fiasco, Kevin Keane struck Murphy and has the card downgraded to a yellow. Christ on a bike, what a joke #GAA
— Chris McNulty (@ChrisMcNultyDgl) August 20, 2015
Now, it seems it's not just fans who are unhappy with the CHC's decision. The Irish Times are reporting that the absence of two of the CHC's most experienced members has led to consternation within Croke Park that an error may have been made.
The rational for the downgrading of the offence was that the 'infraction as alleged was not proven'. That's despite the fact that the match report stated that Keane had been sent off for striking, an offence that was seen by quite a few people.
Liam Keane and Declan Hallissey were not involved in the decision to overturn the red card as they had stepped aside from the panel citing conflicting interests. Liam Keane is from Meath and knows David Gough, the referee who handed out the red card, while Hallissey is from Dublin, who Mayo will face in next weekend's semi-final.
It's impossible to know what would have happened had they been involved in the decision but it certainly seems clear that all is not well at HQ as serious doubts are raised about the procedure that will allow Keane to line out against Dublin next Sunday.