After escaping disciplinary action in the Galway county final, Loughrea full forward Johnny Maher has been handed an 8 week ban by the Galway county board following a review of video footage of his shocking behaviour in November. The Daily Shift’s Kevin Bolger has more…
In the Galway SHC final which took place between Loughrea and St. Thomas’ GAA on November 18th in Pearse stadium, Loughrea full forward Johnny Maher was involved in a shocking incident where he lashed out with the hurley on 2 St. Thomas players after winning a penalty and then kicked out at another after converting said penalty without so much as receiving a caution.
What makes this incident even more shocking is that it all occurred right under the nose of experienced referee Eoin Shaughnessy. Even after consulting with the linesman and umpire, Shaughnessy failed to reprimand the bullish Maher.
After winning a penalty in the 57th minute of the county final, Maher (29), lashed out with the hurley on St. Thomas’ Sean Skehill and Robert Murray, leaving the pair requiring treatment.The big full forward then converted the penalty for his second of the game, but was not finished there. He kicked out and subsequently tripped a St Thomas player as he ran past him, causing uproar, but again his antics went unpunished.
The video clip of the incident was uploaded on to youtube and has since gone on to receive over 150,000 views, putting pressure on the Galway county board to discipline the player for his actions. The forward has also won himself a fan club on the social networking site facebook – “The Johnny Maher school of hacking” – which to date has received over 5,000 likes.
After a review of the incident, the GAA have since moved to impose an 8 week ban on the Loughrea man for his actions which have been widely condemned by the GAA community. Maher can consider himself lucky to come off so lightly for such a potentially serious offence.
However, while an 8 week ban may not be an eternity, Maher is sure to suffer in the future as he will be considered a marked man by refereees throghout the Galway club scene
Also coming under review was an incident involving St. Thomas’ Richie Murray who had been accused of stamping on Loughrea player Damien McClearn. The full forward who scored 3 goals in St. Thomas’ 3-11 to 2-11 victory in the county final escaped however without receiving a suspension, which means he will be eligible to play in the All Ireland senior club championship semi final in February.
St. Thomas won their first ever Galway SHC by beating a Loughrea side who have lost 5 Galway SHC finals in the last 10 years. They will face off against Loughgiel Shamrocks in Ferbruary as they look to make club history in qualifying for the All Ireland club final.