Austin Gleeson should not be playing in the All-Ireland Final if the rules were applied.
Tipperary Stars online column says that rules are rules and there should be no ambiguity.
First things first - it is great that Waterford's Austin Gleeson and Galway's Adrian Tuohey will get to play in the All-Ireland senior hurling final in Croke Park in two weeks time. However, it is wrong. And very wrong at that.
While Deise and Tribesfolk won't like to read this, the simple fact of the matter is that both players crossed the line as far as the rules are concerned but have gotten away with it. They have been let off the hook. I wonder if the Tadhg de Burca incident had happened in the All-Ireland semi-final, rather than the quarter final, would he have escaped sanction as well?
The rules and regulations need clearing up and the sooner the better. As they stand, the rules are bringing the game into disrepute and holding the Association, the CCC and the referees up to ridicule. It's as clear as day that Austin Gleeson pulled the helmet off the head of Cork's Luke Meade. It's also as clear as day that Adrian Tuohey did the same to Tipp's Patrick 'Bonner' Maher. Both occurred during the course of play, and both hands are clearly seen, albeit in replays, grasping the helmet and yanking it free. So what exactly were the officials looking at? How could they all have missed these incidents when everyone else in Croke Park seemed to see them clearly.
Without a doubt the All-Ireland Final would be all the poorer for the absence of Austin Gleeson and Adrian Tuohey. Thankfully, they will be able to line-out. But, that's not the point - they got off and it is a sad indictment of the GAA's chain of disciplinary command that they did. In all fairness, was Conor Gleeson's swipe on Patrick Horgan any worse than Gleeson's helmet pull? - he misses the All-Ireland and has little chance of reprieve. We had a very similar incident in Tipperary back in 2001 when Brian O'Meara was dismissed in the semi-final against Wexford - there was no reprieve for the Mullinahone man over what was essentially a prodding match. The judgement was extremely harsh and Brian played no part in the final. Conor Gleeson now faces the same fate.
On the club scene in Tipperary, there is huge activity this weekend. With the major rush to get games played, one would wonder how in Gods name, we could have coped had Tipp been in the All-Ireland. It's divisional championship focus now with the pick of the games being the clash of Sarsfields and Drom-Inch in the mid quarter final. Kiladangan and Nenagh Eire Og in the north championship on Saturday evening is equally as attractive - the loser of this game is out of hurling for the rest of the year. Borris-Ileigh and Templederry too on Sunday is an attractive game while the clash of Moycarkey Borris and Holycross Ballycahill will attract an attendance to Boherlahan on Sunday afternoon.
Killenaule and Ballingarry lock horns in Monroe on Sunday evening while the west senior hurling championship tie in Golden on Sunday is also a must see game.
Liam Devaney (left) receiving his Caltex Hurler of the Year Award in 1961.
On a sad note, the passing of Tipperary and Borris-Ileigh great Liam Devaney occasioned great regret throughout the land. He will be laid to rest on Saturday in his native parish having spent much of his life 'marooned' in Hillview Drive, Thurles. His record speaks for itself - five All-Ireland's, eight National League titles, eight Munster titles, Hurler of the Year in 1961, three Railway Cups - there aren't too many men with as many honours left among us at this stage. Devaney was a great alright, though speaking to him you would never think it. Why? Because he would never let you think it. He was humble, full of humility, would deflect praise, but loved to talk hurling nonetheless.
There'll be some craic in Heaven these days as the greats line-up to greet their friend. Sympathy to the bereaved at this difficult time.