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MEATH FURY AT BAN LEAK; GAA under fire.

Meath are to launch an appeal following the suspensions handed to players involved in the All-Ireland football final replay brawl.

They are angry at the way news of the punishments was leaked to the media yesterday following Monday's meeting and are set to object to the GAA.

The GAA, who met at Croke Park, were due to officially announce the suspensions later today - but back-tracked and made the annoucement last night.

A leak to a Dublin radio station yesterday lunchtime broke the embargo which had been placed on the list of suspensions. Meath players knew about their suspensions before county chairman Fintan Ginnity contacted them.

Meath goalkeeper Conor Martin had his suspension confirmed to him by telephone just minutes after the unconfirmed radio reports.

Ginnity did not receive official word from Croke Park by telex until 1.03pm.

By then most of their players knew their fate.

Martin and four other Meath players have been banned from last night for two months.

Jimmy McGuinness has been banned for six months, Colm Coyle four months and Enda McManus three months taking Meath's total to 23 months. All seven Mayo players were suspended for two months except Ray Dempsey who got three - bringing their total to 15 months.

Meath County Board is certain to launch an appeal on behalf of the players.

The board also want to know why a radio station knew the length of the suspensions one hour before the players and why there is such a difference between sentences.

Meath members are also angry at the way Mayo player David Brady was not punished for his gesture to John McDermott as referee Pat McEnaney started the second half of the game. And they will also ask why Liam McHale was not taken to task for remarks about future Meath/Mayo matches on the Monday after the replay.

Meath County Board officials have been flooded with telephone calls from fans urging them to pull the team out of the national league.

The suspensions started from Monday night but McHale has been automatically banned from the replay because he was sent off.

He will be available for Mayo's last league match before Christmas on November 24.

Mayo officially confirmed reports that all seven players summoned to Monday night's meeting have been suspended.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Keys, Colm
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 23, 1996
Words:381
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