96-week ban for Limerick football final fan

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

LIMERICK GAA officials have proposed 96-week ban for Martin Stokes - the Dromcollogher-Broadford supporter, who entered the field of play during last Sunday’s county football final to confront a Newcastle West player.

LIMERICK GAA officials have proposed 96-week ban for Martin Stokes - the Dromcollogher-Broadford supporter, who entered the field of play during last Sunday’s county football final to confront a Newcastle West player.

At this Monday night’s meeting of Limerick GAA’s Competitions Control Committee (CCC) the maximum ban of 96 weeks was proposed for Stokes - the father of Dromcollogher-Broadford midfielder Jason.

The meeting of the 13-man committee was held in the University of Limerick, where the Limerick senior hurlers played Clare last evening in the official opening of UL’s new all-weather facility.

However, the CCC have handed down no other suspensions arising from incidents in the Limerick SFC between Newcastle and Dromcollogher-Broadford.

The CCC reviewed the referee’s report as well as photographs of the incident in question.

It is understood that the Dromcollogher-Broadford club will received notification of the ban this morning.

If Martin Stokes wishes to appeal, he must do so within three days of receiipt of notification.

The CCC deliberations centred on an altercation involving Newcastle West’s James Kelly and Martin and Jason Stokes of Drom-Broadford.

Newcastle West’s Kelly was sent off, for a second yellow card offence, in injury-time at the end of the game.

However, while Dromcollogher-Broadford took a quick free in an effort to secure the equalising point, Kelly was confronted by supporter, Martin Stokes, as he departed the field after receiving his marching orders from referee Richard Moloney.

With all focus on the attempts of Drom-Broadford to secure an equalising points, no action was taken by Moloney regarding the Stokes-Kelly incident.

However, Limerick GAA officials are within their right to impose sanctions on any incident not dealt with by the match referee.

The proposed 96-week suspension would mean that Martin Stokes is banned from all GAA fields and premises. He would also be banned from playing any role within a club committee or as a team mentor with any team.

If Stokes opts not to appeal his punishment, he will therefore not be permitted to attend Friday night’s replay.

The incident has taken much of the emphasis away from an outstanding hour’s football and both sides will return to the Gaelic Grounds this Friday for the eagerly awaited replay.

The replay has a 7.15 and will be the first time that the Limerick SFC final went to a replay since these two sides met back in 2004.

Limerick GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan has confirmed that supporters for the replay will be restricted to the main stand in the wake of the ugly scenes that marred the drawn game.