O'Connell's appeal rejected

June 20, 2004
Westmeath midfielder Rory O'Connell has failed in his appeal against the three month ban handed down to him for allegedly stamping on Pascal Kelleghan during his side's preliminary round Leinster win over Offaly. The Athlone clubman made a personal appeal to the Management Committee of the GAA at Croke Park on Saturday and had a letter from Offaly's Kelleghan which backed up his claim that the clash between the two was accidental. O'Connell admitted that his foot made contact with the Offaly half forward but says that it was accidental as he tried to untangle himself, whereas the GAC deemed that the action was intentional. The Management Committee rejected O'Connell's appeal and his suspension will last until August 15, meaning that the Lake County will have to reach a first ever All-Ireland semi-final if the former All Star is to play championship football again this year. Westmeath Chairman Seamus Whelan was extremely disappointed with the outcome of the hearing. "I am hugely disappointed for Rory," said the Westmeath official. "I fully believe his version of the story that he was trying to extricate his foot and did not stamp."

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