GAA Football

In the Irish News on June 17 1997: Tyrone's Chris Lawn and Fermanagh's Sean Breen awaiting their fates

Tyrone defender Chris Lawn was awaiting his disciplinary fate after a red card in the 1997 Ulster SFC.
Pic Seamus Loughran

The Ulster Council will await both referees' reports before deciding whether to hand out more than the mandatory two-week bans to Chris Lawn and Sean Breen, who were sent off in Sunday's Championship games.

TV replays on Sunday evening appeared to show that Tyrone defender Lawn kicked Armagh forward Ger Houlahan in the head as the player lay on the ground - an offence which would normally incur a suspension of at least three months.

Lawn, however, only received a booking for the offence although he was sent off in the second half after picking up a second caution.

Fermanagh full-back Breen, meanwhile, was dismissed by Tyrone referee Jim Curran for two bookable offences during Sunday's Clones clash [against Cavan] although a number of observers thought the dismissal a tad harsh.

At first, TV replays appeared to indicate that Breen had attempted to remonstrate with the referee seconds after the match. Pictures showed Breen being restrained by a number of Ulster and Fermanagh officials.

However, referee Curran last night said that the incident had been blown out of all proportion.

He insisted that Breen had shaken hands and apologised for his actions before being pulled away by Ulster officials, who mistakenly believed that something untoward was about to occur.


IRISH amateur boxing chiefs are to call on the Dublin Government for funding support to rectify what one leading official described last weekend as "a national disgrace".

Jim Noonan, secretary to IABA's Ulster Council, fired a broadside at the need for cash to be allocated to develop a more professional approach to secure the sports future into the next Millennium.

Ireland will host the World Senior Championships in 2001 in Belfast, possibly at the proposed £100m Odyssey Project at Queen's Quay which the NI Sports Council hopes incorporates a 10,000-seater arena, but if not probably in the King's Hall.

Noonan vented his frustration at last week's Central Council meeting, suggesting the need was clearly evident for investment from Government funding to support amateur boxing and Ireland's bid for future Olympic Games, World and European Junior and Senior Championship, and Commonwealth Games progress.


Michelle Smith has been included in the Irish team for the European Senior Championships in Seville in August. But there is no place for Ulster Olympian Marion Madine, who is taking a break from full-time training at the moment.

Although no northern swimmers made the senior squad, things aren't quite as bad with the younger swimmers.

The national squad for the Junior Euros in Glasgow at the end of July includes Mark Craig of Ards. Mark was fourth in the B final of the 100 metres breaststroke at the Scottish Nationals at the weekend in 1 minute 10.56 seconds. He also made the B final in the 50 breast.

The other juniors for the Glasgow Euros are Graham Beegan, Niamh Cawley, Lee Kelleher, David Roche and John Paul Williamson.


Former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson is set to join BBC Television's football team next season as a pundit on Match of the Day.

His new television role will also see him reporting on Football Focus, and he will continue to be an expert summariser for Radio 5 Live.

Next year he will be in the BBC TV line-up for the World Cup finals. "It looks like I'm going to be pretty well full time with the BBC, working on Match of the Day and Football Focusas well as continuing my commentary work with Radio 5 Live," said Lawrenson.

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