It's 16 days since the DRA quashed Diarmuid Connolly's one-match ban for striking Lee Keegan in the drawn All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Mayo.
A three-man tribunal of former Supreme Court judge Hugh O'Flaherty and solicitors David Nohilly and Brian Rennick decided in the early hours of September 5th - the day of the replay - that there had been a 'lack of fair procedure afforded to Mr. Connolly'.
Monday's statement expanded further on how exactly the Dublin forward's right to fair procedure had been breached.
i. The Claimant was not given details of the entire evidence against him (as was his right under Rule).
ii. The Claimant was not given an opportunity to test that evidence, particularly, the evidence based on hearsay.
iii. The Claimant was not afforded any right to scrutinise and question the entire evidence against him.
iv. The Claimant was not afforded the opportunity to present evidence in support of his position.
v. The CHC erred and failed to take account of potential relevant considerations to the detriment of the Claimant.
vi. The CHC erred in not exercising their discretion under Rule in making a request for clarification where it was manifest that it should have been exercised.
The DRA voted 2-1 in favour of Connolly have the red card rescinded. It was only the second time in the ten year history of the DRA that a decision has not been unanimous. Brian Rennick wrote that he 'fundamentally disagreed' with the decision of the other two members.
It was also revealed in the statement that Connolly put forward a case of self defence, claiming that he had been 'choked' by Lee Keegan.
Regarding that matter the statement explains.
It is curious that this was the finding reached as one would have assumed the proper finding should have been the jurisdictional one i.e. this was an issue not raised before the CHC.
In any sense, we do not agree with the proposition that a player is not entitled to defend oneself. The Claimant gave evidence to this Tribunal of being ‘choked’ etc., at the time of the altercation. Whilst that may or may not have been case is not for us to decide, but to say no such defence exists absolutely is not correct in our opinion. We shall go no further on this point.
You can read the DRA's full statement here.
Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE