Mangan may take case to the DRA
Former Westmeath football star Alan Mangan is believed to be pursuing a case with the GAA’s Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) after he was controversially suspended for comments he made to a fellow mentor regarding a referee.
Mangan, who’s manager of Castletown Geoghegan senior hurlers, was on the sideline during their round five game against Lough Lene Gaels in TEG Cusack Park, which they won by 2-19 to 3-14. During the match, he expressed frustration regarding a refereeing decision with a fellow mentor, but his remarks were overheard by the linesman, who brought the matter to the referees attention.
It is understood Mangan’s comment included expletives.
Mangan, a dual star, who plays football with the sister club, St Malachy’s, was subsequently hit with a four-week suspension (plus a one-match ban) by the Hearings Committee in Westmeath and then failed in a bid to get it overturned at a higher level. It meant he was forced to miss St Malachy’s intermediate football championship semi-final against Tubberclair and will now also be out of bounds for the Castletown Geoghegan’s senior hurling semi-final clash against Lough Lene Gaels. It would also rule him out of involvement in the senior hurling final as his suspension only came into effect last weekend (following a hearing).
Mangan is also set to miss the St Malachy’s versus Milltownpass intermediate football final because his suspension is time-based.
Mangan’s comments, while unsavory, were not made directly towards the referee and this has left the former Westmeath player feeling seriously aggrieved. It is felt that during any game people generally talk to each other regarding decisions and it has not met with similar punishment and there is widespread belief, even among the refereeing fraternity, that this sets a precedent.
Abusive language towards a referee or match official carries a four-week suspension under rule. However, there is a view that the circumstances involved and the gravity of the situation should have been given greater consideration.
While it has been confirmed that Mangan was suspended, no one is willing to speak on the record and the issue may now be played out at the highest level.
Mangan was part of the Westmeath Leinster winning side in 2004 under the late Páidí Ó Sé and was outstanding in that victory over Laois in the Leinster final replay, scoring 0-4. He was also part of the Lake County U21 football side that won the All-Ireland title in 1999.
He subsequently went into management was was prominently involved when Westmeath ladies won the All-Ireland intermediate title in 2011. He has served on different Westmeath hurling and football managements in recent years, including senior and under 20 hurling.
The DRA is an independent body, consisting of legal professionals and arbitrators properly qualified to resolve disputes of this nature.