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Tyrone will lay down law over match violence

The Tyrone Competitions Control Committee, which met last night to discuss the violence that marred the All County League final between Carrickmore and Dromore at the weekend, could be set to crack the whip in much the same way as it did three years ago.

On that occasion, former Red Hands defender Noel Maginn was hit with a 72-week ban following an incident in the senior football championship final.

Maginn, then manager of Dromore, became involved in a clash with a Clonoe player which resulted in the CCC taking heavy punitive action against him.

School principal Maginn, who held down a central defensive role with the Red Hands from 1980 until 1991 before retiring to focus on coaching, admitted his guilt and served his lengthy sentence before returning to the GAA to make a substantial ongoing contribution in the administration of Scor, undertaking match analysis for local radio and overseeing a high-profile website.

As the CCC met last night with Donal Magee in the chair to debate the contents of referee Cathal O’Hagan’s report on Sunday’s game that led to Tyrone making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, county PRO Damien Harvey suggested that the positives still outweigh the negatives within the county.

Harvey accepted the county’s image has suffered but stressed that there have been many plus-factors on which to dwell.

“We have won three All Ireland titles since 2003 and we have also tasted success at All Ireland Minor level and schools levels so the game is in a very healthy state within the county,” he said.

“There are some 1,000 games played in Tyrone over the course of a season at all levels and the vast majority are completed without incident. What happened at Dunmoyle last Sunday was reprehensible – for this too happen just once is still once too often in our book.

“People should come forward and accept responsibility for their actions. Their failure to do so will only further discredit their clubs and the association as a whole. This is something that we would very much prefer not to happen.

“Obviously there is video evidence available but it would be much better if people were to come forward and hold their hands up and perhaps admit that they momentarily lost the run of themselves.”

Maginn’s willingness to accept responsibility for his actions three years ago and his show of remorse are currently being held up by many as an example to those whose consciences may not be clear following Sunday’s unsavoury events.

It is expected that any recommendations in relation to punishments emanating from last night’s meeting will be conveyed to county secretary Dominic McCaughey today who will in turn notify both clubs of the decisions.

Both the Carrickmore and Dromore clubs are understood to have already held meetings at which the incidents were discussed, Carrickmore having initially issued a terse one-sentence statement which condemned “the fighting in the stands” but which made no reference to any incidents that took place on the field of play.

Should punishments be meted out to both clubs and individuals they will have the right of appeal to the Tyrone Hearings Committee and such appeals must be made within three days of the disciplinary measures being conveyed to them.

Dromore, who had earlier beaten Clonoe to win the county championship title, won the league showdown but it proved a hollow victory given the damage which was inflicted on the image of both clubs.

County chairman Ciaran McLaughlin has pledged that those who are deemed to have been guilty of violent behaviour will pay a heavy penalty.

Belfast Telegraph