With the All-Ireland hurling semi-finals just around the corner, Waterford are still sweating on the availability of Tadhg de Búrca – who is still in the process of appealing his one-match suspension, which was handed down to the Déise sweeper after he was sent off against Wexford.
De Búrca was sent off after an altercation with Wexford’s Harry Kehoe – where the Waterford player was judged to have pulled his opponents helmet – a straight red card offence.
However, de Búrca was given an unlikely witness defending him at his appeal – Kehoe himself. Despite this intervention, de Búrca’s appeal was not successful.
Waterford selector Dan Shanahan explained, to Jackie Cahill, writing in the Irish Independent:
“I don’t know the ins and outs, but he (Kehoe) did travel up and spoke, by all accounts brilliantly, above at the meeting, to no avail.
“Harry said what he had to say and I heard he was absolutely outstanding.
“Credit to Harry and (Wexford manager) Davy Fitz for that, but if the shoe was on the other foot, we’d have went up there as well, to be honest with you.”
Shanahan was also extremely critical of the decision of the Central Hearings Committee to uphold the ban.
Waterford will now take the matter to the Central Appeals Committee and, if required, can go to the Dispute Resolutions Authority – the final step in the GAA disciplinary process.
“Again, it’s just amazing that Harry can say there was no intent there and yet he (De Búrca) can still get a suspension.
“The law is the law and that’s what they’ll say – his hand touched his helmet, but intentional though? There was no intent there.
“For his own sake and our sake, the sooner it’s sorted, the better.”
Waterford play Cork on August 13, and as it stands, will do so without their sweeper.
However, the intervention of Kehoe was a great act of sportsmanship all the same.
Check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, Pundit Arena’s GAA podcast, where we look ahead to all the weekend’s action.