Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Minimum ban for Tyrone footballer in jaw-break incident

A Tyrone club footballer involved in the off-the-ball incident that saw inter-county star Joe McMahon's jaw broken in two places has received just the minimum four-week suspension.

McMahon's also lost several teeth in the incident in the first round of the county league in mid-April, when his club Omagh St Enda's were playing Moortown.

The Tyrone County Board launched an investigation and it was reported yesterday that as a result, Moortown player, Martin McGuigan has received a four-week ban for 'striking'.

McMahon was stretchered off the pitch and taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry where he needed surgery for the injuries he received.

Named on the Tyrone bench for last weekend's Ulster SFC win over Monaghan, McMahon lined out last night at midfield for his club Omagh in a first division league encounter against Carrickmore in a game that also saw the return of his brother Justin who played at centre half back.

At the time of the incident, Tyrone county chairman Ciaran McLaughlin described it as “a shocking incident” and said: “we need to contain occurrences like this. Everyone goes out to play football and wants to be able to get up for work the next morning.”

The Omagh St Enda club's only comment on the matter so far has been a posting on their website that noted that McMahon, their International Rules and county star, was “felled during an incident which was not witnessed by match officials”.

Asked why just a minimum four-week suspension was handed down, Tyrone secretary Dominic McCaughey said that “the player was reported for striking”.

The referee, in his match report, had reported the player for striking “based on what was reported to him by the (injured) player (McMahon)”.

McMahon was not used in last Sunday’s game but his selection would indicate he has a chance of playing a full part in Tyrone's upcoming Ulster semi-final on June 26.

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