It has been the controversy of the year and the fallout from the Laois senior hurling final continues to dominate.
Camross won their 26th title that day but a much talked about incident in the 25th minute of that game led to serious facial and dental injuries to Rathdowney-Errill’s Ross King.
While only yellow cards were handed out on the day by referee John O’Brien, Camross defender Darrell Dooley was later given a proposed two-match suspension by Laois GAA.
However, Camross were successful in their appeal of that decision and the minutes of the Laois GAA Hearings Committee meeting that decided that have since been circulated to Laois clubs and at the recent County Board meeting last week.
They explained the decision not to imposes a suspension on Darrell Dooley: “The Committee makes a finding that the Infraction is NOT proved. No penalty is therefore imposed.”
The minutes also stated that: “In reviewing the video footage (at normal, slow-motion and frame-by-frame speed) it was noted by the Hearings Committee Members that Ross King entered the ‘melee’ at speed (ie with momentum) and, in our opinion, clearly intent on shoulder-charging Darrell Dooley.
“We believe from viewing the video footage that Darrell Dooley saw Ross King approaching out of the corner of his eye and turned towards him.
“However, the Hearings Committee Members by majority decision were not satisfied that Darrell Dooley’s actions or reactions in that specific instant amounted to ‘striking with a hurley, either with force or causing injury’. On that basis our decision was made accordingly.”
The minutes of the meeting also made reference to “the social media coverage of this matter” being “unavoidable”.
The saga has raged since the county final on the first Sunday in October and has drawn massive levels of online commentary, particularly around the issue of images that circulated on social media. One included three Camross players, including Dooley, posing for a photo showing off their teeth and flashing hugely exaggerated smiles.
After captaining the Laois hurlers for the past two seasons, Ross King has opted off the panel for 2019.