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O'Brien gets 20 weeks in Carlow trio ban


Carlow manager Turlough O’Brien

Carlow manager Turlough O’Brien


Carlow manager Turlough O’Brien

The Carlow footballers preparations for the Leinster SFC have been rocked by lengthy suspensions dished out to their manager, coach and star player.

Turlough O'Brien has been hit with a 20-week ban while Stephen Poacher and Brendan Murphy were issued 12-week suspensions by Croke Park's Central Hearings Committee.

The bans emanate from an incident at the end of Carlow's Division 3 defeat to Down in Dr. Cullen Park on March 16th.

O'Brien's charges were beaten by a point when a draw would have guaranteed their survival with a round of matches still to play.

They were subsequently relegated back to Division 4 after defeat to Laois on the last day of the competition.

Referee James Bermingham was confronted after he blew the final whistle while Carlow were in possession.


The three were recommended for suspensions by the CCCC but sought a hearing and were therefore free to fulfil their sideline duties during Carlow's three-point loss to Laois in O'Moore Park on March 24th.

O'Brien, Murphy and Poacher were all charged with 'minor physical Inference with an official' - the same offence for which Diarmuid Connolly was suspended in 2017 for an incident in a match against Carlow.

The Central Hearings Committee found that offence not proven but upheld a charge of 'threatening conduct towards an official' in all three cases.

O'Brien has orchestrated the upsurge in Carlow's fortunes since taking over as manager before the start of the 2017 season, culminating in promotion last year from Division 4 last year and a breakthrough Leinster SFC victory over Kildare.

Poacher, meanwhile, has been credited with establishing the Barrowsiders as a competitive force in his role as coach while Murphy rejoined the panel this year after opting to travel last summer.

Carlow start this year's provincial campaign against either Meath or Offaly on May 25th in the Leinster quarter-final.

All three have the option of appealing the CHC decision to the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) and subsequently, the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA).