Supporters attending this Friday’s replay of the Limerick SFC in the Gaelic Grounds will be restricted to the Mackey Stand in a bid to avoid a repeat of the violence that marred the drawn game.
The match between Newcastle West and Drom-Broadford had a number of violent incidents including a melee that broke out between both sets of players when the half time whistle was blown.
More worringly, Martin Stokes, father of Limerick footballer Jason, ran onto the pitch and physically confronted Newcastle West’s James Kelly. The forward received attention after the incident and Limerick’s County Board launched an investigation into the affair. Stokes encroached on the pitch after Kelly, who was his side’s top scorer with 2-2, received a second yellow card.
The Limerick County Board’s Competitions Control Committee (CCC) met last night to review in the incidents and it is understood they looked at photographs and viewed footage from the match video as well as reading the referee’s report as part of their investigation.
There are fears over the security of the venue but county secretary Michael O’Riordan told the Irish Independent that it was impossible to make the Gaelic Grounds totally secure because of the lack of a perimeter fence.
There are fears that escalating tensions between the two sides could lead to trouble breaking out at the match which is scheduled for Friday as a member of the Newcastle West team is getting married on Saturday.
O’Riordan denied that the shocking scenes, along with a reported brawl at the end of the intermediate football final between Claughaun and Pallasgreen, which the CCC are also investigating, and violence at an u16 Shield final suggested that there was a problem with match violence within the county.
“I think anyone who studies our record over the past five or six years will see that we have had very, very little disciplinary problems. I cannot comment or pre-empt what actions will be taken by the CCC but we received the referee’s match report very promptly and all the proper procedures will be followed,” he told the paper.