By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — Kerry’s football captain, Darragh O Se, has been cleared to play in Sunday’s All Ireland semifinal against Cork. O Se was sent off in a recent club game, but despite the fact that a straight red card carries a minimum ban of four weeks, the Kerry County Board announced that the player had no case to answer.
“If the referee had cited Darragh O Se for a sending-off offense in his report, he would have got four weeks,” said Kerry County Board chairman Sean Walsh. “But he didn’t do that, and we acted on what was in the referee’s report and, in the interests of natural justice, carried out a full investigation. We’re satisfied that we acted by the book.”
Walsh denied that a special arrangement was made for O Se, who was sent off while playing for his club team, An Gh’lteacht, in a county championship game against Austin Stacks 10 days ago. The referee said in his report that he hadn’t seen the incident involving O Se and had acted on the advice of the umpire.
The Kerry County Board sought clarification from Croke Park regarding procedures before arriving at a decision.
“People will say that we tried to find a way around this to make sure that Darragh could play,” said Walsh, “but that is not the case. If Darragh had been reported by the referee for striking, then he would have got a month’s ban.”