On Monday night, it was confirmed that Tadhg de Búrca was handed a one-match suspension after receiving a straight red card in Waterford’s All-Ireland quarter-final win over Wexford.
De Búrca was given his marching orders after seemingly grabbing the faceguard of Harry Kehoe – an incident missed by many – but spotted by the linesman, John Keenan of Wicklow.
Several points were made in defence of de Búrca in the days following his red card. One of the main points being thrown around is that he is not a dirty player.
While de Búrca’s disciplinary record is exemplary, it should not be the main point of defence in the argument.
Waterford and their sweeper have other options to use in this argument.
De Búrca was sent off for interfering with the helmet. A look at the rule sees that it states:
‘To behave in any way which is dangerous to an opponent, including to deliberately pull on, take hold of a faceguard or any other part of an opponent’s helmet.”
The stand-out word in the rule being ‘deliberate’. Now, a look at the incident doesn’t really show any deliberate attempt to interfere with Kehoe’s helmet.
It appears rather that de Búrca was attempting to free himself from the tackle of the Wexford man. There is no deliberate attempt to interfere with the helmet in this instance.
The incident involving de Búrca and Kehoe is incomparable to what Stephen Bennett received a suspension for earlier this summer.
A frustrated Bennett deliberately caught hold of Damien Cahalane’s helmet and pulled him to the ground. In this instance, the offence went unpunished until the GAA later took action.
Derek McGrath’s side made no attempt to appeal this decision as it was clearly a red-card offence. Bennett served his suspension and things resumed in normal fashion.
The hurling committee have a habit of making correct calls when it comes to these decisions, just a number of weeks ago, Brian Cody found himself being discussed.
As a scuffle developed on the sideline, Cody was eager to share his thoughts with Derek McGrath. As the fourth official stepped in, Cody attempted to move him.
Realising his mistake, Cody quickly removed his hands and apologised. Common sense once again was taken into consideration here and Cody was not given a suspension.
The majority of the hurling public have come out in defence of Tadhg de Búrca over the last week or so, but it is now up to Waterford to see if they want to bring it to the Central Appeals Committee.
As it stands, de Búrca is set to miss the August 13 All-Ireland semi-final with Cork. However, this saga may not be over just yet.
Kevin Daly, Pundit Arena
Check out this week’s episode of The 16th Man where we look ahead to this weekend’s clash between Tipperary and Galway, as well as looking ahead to all the football action.
Read More About: All Ireland SHC, All Ireland shc 2017, damien cahalane, Derek McGrath, GAA, Hurling, patrick horgan, Paudie O'Brien, stephen bennett, tadhg de burca, waterford, Waterford v cork, waterford v wexford, Wexford