A club footballer in Limerick underwent surgery to have a plate inserted in his jaw following an alleged unprovoked blow to the face during a county senior football championship match.
Ballysteen GAA club wrote a letter to the county board urging the Limerick GAA executive to launch an investigation into the incident.
The SFC quarterfinal match between Ballysteen and Ballylanders took place on Saturday, September 29th and following the incident the player that is alleged to have struck the Ballysteen player was shown a red card.
The Limerick Leader have published the letter which states:
“I am writing to express our disappointment following an incident that took place during the senior football match between Ballysteen and Ballylanders - the match took place on Saturday September 29 when Ballysteen and Ballylanders played the quarter final of the Limerick senior football championship,”signed by club chairman Alan Kehoe.
“During the game one of our players received an unprovoked blow to the face at one point in the game, in which he did not have possession of the ball. He had to immediately leave the field and could not continue. The Ballylanders player who inflicted the injury received a red card and was sent-off immediately by the referee.
“The extent of the Ballysteen player’s injuries were discovered upon medical examination and included the following; cheekbone fracture, lower eye socket fracture and bone behind the eyebrow fracture. The player was sent to University Hospital later that evening for x-ray and the above facial injuries were discovered. Due to severe bruising and swelling, an operation was deferred until October 4.
“In addition to the facial reconstruction, a plate was inserted which will remain for life, and he has suffered a numbness in the side of his face and jaw and surgeons have advised that this may not recover due to nerve damage sustained in the blow,” outlined the letter.
“The player who inflicted this injury received a straight red card and automatically a one match ban must be served, however in this instance the red card was overturned on appeal.
“The player moved 20-30 yards and inflicted a single blow to the face, captured on match video and I am asking the County Board to investigate how such an appeal was successful.
“The Ballysteen club wants to make it clear we harbour no animosity or ill towards Ballylanders GAA club or its players and wish them the best of luck for the remainder of the championship”.
However, Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan stated that the issue had been dealt with by the referee and that there was no need for an investigation.
“I think procedure to deal with such an issue has been exhausted. The points that have been made in the letter and in good faith from the Ballysteen club will be brought to the attention of the secretary of the hearings committee for their consideration,” said the chairman.
He added: “Any of us aren’t here for the business of trying to fudge, or trying to do harm or trying to offend anybody. I have simply outlined the procedures”.
There are fifteen county finals taking place this weekend with ten of those in football. Join our match tracker on Sunday afternoon for live updates from around the county grounds.