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O’Brien to appeal ‘bite’ ban

Patrick McBrearty in action against Kevin O'Brien during the recent National League game in Ballybofey.

Patrick McBrearty in action against Kevin O’Brien during the recent National League game in Ballybofey.

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

THE Dublin corner-back Kevin O’Brien will have his appeal against a proposed three-match ban for an alleged ‘bite’ on the Donegal forward Patrick McBrearty heard by Croke Park’s Central Hearings Committee next week.

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On Wednesday, the Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) communictated a proposed three-match ban for the player to the Dublin County Board.

O’Brien had 72 hours from the receipt of the notice to either accept the punishement or seek a hearing. The Dublin County Board has confirmed that an appeal has been launched.

Portmarnock native O’Brien was the captain of the 2012 All-Ireland winning Dublin Under 21 team.

It is he who was at the centre of claims that McBrearty sustained a bite wound during the National Football League game between the counties last Sunday week.

McBrearty was treated by the Donegal medical team for the wound and was later taken to Letterkenny General Hospital, where he was given a tetanus injection and prescribed a course of antibiotics.

The Dublin medics had been made aware of it and fuel was poured on the fire when the Dublin Chairman, Andy Kettle, hit out last week at Donegal for not informing his Board or the Dublin management of the allegation, while he further claimed that the Dublin doctor had only confirmed ‘a bruise’ rathern than ‘a laceration’.

However, the matter had been reported by the Donegal County Secretary Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, to the referee Padraig Hughes at half-time and the replacement referee, Michael Duffy, at full-time.

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Donegal’s claims that McBrearty had been bitten in the closing stages of the first half were noted in the referee’s report, prompting the CCCC to launch their investigations.

On Wednesday, their preliminary decision was sent to the Dublin Board and the matter will now go before the Central Hearings Committee next week. It is likely that Donegal officials will be called to give evidence to any hearing.

It is believed that the CCCC have charged O’Brien under a ‘Category III’ offence. While, biting is not dealt with in the official guide, Rule 5.14 deals with the offence: “to inflict an injury recklessly on an opponent by means other than those stated above (‘strike’, ‘kick’, ‘stamp’).”

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