GAA Explain Reasoning Behind Antrim Player's 48-Week Ban

GAA Explain Reasoning Behind Antrim Player's 48-Week Ban

Antrim's Matthew Fitzpatrick was left reeling earlier today with the news that he has been handed a 48-week ban by the GAA.

Fitzpatrick learned of the ban late last night, having previously had a one-match ban twice overturned on appeal.

The GAA's Central Hearings Committee have released a short statement explaining the severity of the ban:

On the 15th of May the Central Hearings Committee decided that at a hearing on the 4 May that Matthew Fitrzpatrick gave deliberately false evidence and deliberately misled the hearing, a breach of rule 7.3.

The CHC imposed a suspension of 48 weeks.

Antrim manager Frank Fitzsimons and selector Pat Hughes were warned as to their future conduct arising out of evidence they gave at the same hearing.

All parties have the option of appealing against the decisions of the Central Hearings Committee to the Central Appeals Committee.

Fitzpatrick appeared before the Central Hearings Committee last night, the third time he has appeared before a disciplinary committee in the last few weeks, relating to an off the ball incident that occurred in a league game with Armagh last March. On both occasions, the one-match ban was successfully overturned on appeal.

Subsequently,  a letter from the GAA was sent to the county board asking that a player involved in an off the ball incident be identified, the county management team and two members of the county board agreed that the player could not be identified with 100 per cent certainty. However, the county board subsequently identified the player as Matthew Fitzpatrick, which caused great tensions among the senior intercounty squad.

Antrim's joint-manager Gearoid Adams denied that there was an attempt to "pull the wool over anyone's eyes" in relation to the identification of the player, along with voicing concern for Fitzpatrick's well-being:


I don't know if there's a precedent of the same guy being trialled three times. My issue with it is the welfare of Matthew Fitzpatrick. Mentally, he's not in a good place because he's ok one minute and the next he's not playing.

Antrim are expected to appeal Fitzpatrick's 48-week ban.

See Also: Westmeath Star Asks Massive Questions Of The GAA In Thought-Provoking Take On Restructure




Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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