Coleman hopes Kelly can now "put everything behind" him

Ugly scenes at the end of full time during the GAA All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter Final between Armagh and Galway on 06-26-2022 at Croke Park Dublin. Pic Philip Walsh
Shaun Casey

Former Clann Eireann boss Tommy Coleman hopes Tiernan Kelly and his family can begin to “put everything behind them” after Kelly was handed a six-month suspension yesterday.

Kelly appeared to eye gouge Galway's Damien Comer as the sides left the field for full time in last weekend's All-Ireland quarter final and Armagh GAA confirmed that they won't be appealing the ban.

Coleman led the Lurgan club to their first county title in 58 years last season, with Kelly one of the key men in helping Clann Eireann capture the Gerry Fegan Cup.

“It's over and done with and it's good for the lad, for him and his family to put everything behind them and get over the last week. It's been terrible what he's went through on social media, and he's accepted his ban and he'll come back stronger for it hopefully.

“Tiernan's a great lad, he was a head boy in St Ronan's, and you don't pick up that sort of honour unless your highly respected by one, your fellow peers and two, the teachers.

“For him, I'm just delighted now that it's over, it's done with, and he can rebuild his career. Get these few weeks over him, go and get a holiday, get away out of the road of it all and come back stronger.”

TK, as he's more commonly known around the Orchard County, has been out of action since May due to a blood-clotting issue, but had hoped to feature in the upcoming club championship.

“He was looking forward to the club championships with high hopes of playing this year because he had seen a consultant. That's been knocked on the head, but he'll winter well and get these months over him. He can still do his own training, whatever he has to do to get fighter and stronger.”

Kelly, a Hogan Cup winner with St Ronan's College and a 2017 College All-Star, has dedicated his life to Gaelic football and Coleman stressed that what happened last weekend was “out of character” and was “in the heat of the moment.”

“What happened was totally out of character for him. He's had all those traits where he's been stood up as a leader among his own peers and that's always happened. Through every game he's played, he's never been involved in anything.

“Them dust ups that happened with Armagh (against Tyrone and Donegal), he wasn't involved, he was never cited or anything else. I'm not making excuses for him, what happened happened, but it could have been borne out of frustration too.

“He's a lad that all he does is train. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he doesn't do anything. His whole life, if he goes on holiday's, it's only if he's not going to be missing any football.

“That's just the way he is. A great, great lad and he's a great role model around the club. Just one bit of insanity in the heat of the moment, things got out of hand and it's totally and utterly out of character.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access