By Damian Dolan
Fulham Irish manager and Tyrone legend Owen Mulligan is hopeful he’ll be pitch-side for his team’s London senior county final against Tir Chonaill Gaels on 20 October, after being hit with an eight-week ban.
The London CCC last week issued Mulligan with the ban for making contact with Neasden Gaels and Down forward Connaire Harrison during the sides’ league Division 1 league game at McGovern Park on 9 August.
Mulligan has asked for a hearing which will be held by the Hearings Committee. At the time of going to print, no date has been set.
If the hearing doesn’t take place before the final, Mulligan will be free to be pitch-side.
If it does and the decision of the CCC is upheld, Mulligan will be banned from being on the sideline in an official capacity for the final.
Any ban would also apply to the Connacht Club quarter-final, should Fulham progress.
Mulligan, though, has vowed to “be there” even it does mean watching the game from the stand.
“At the end of the day it was handbags and we all shook hands after. Hopefully they can see that,” Mulligan told the Irish World.
“I’ll be there – don’t you worry.”
He added: “We’ll be looking to get that date and see what case we can bring before the county board. But it’s up to the board and I’ll respect their decision.”
This will be Mulligan’s first county final as a manager, after taking over the reins at the south London club earlier this year.
“It’s great to get to the final, but if we don’t win the cup it will mean nothing,” he said.
Fulham beat Neasden Gaels 3-11 to 1-11 in Sunday’s semi-final in Ruislip to set up a third consecutive county final meeting with holders Tir Chonaill Gaels – Mulligan kicked the winning point in the 2017 final.
“Because of the opposition we knew we had to raise our game. Neasden have Jamie Clarke, Connaire Harrison and Caolan Mooney, and we knew we had to marshal them. If we did that, we knew we’d be in there at the end,” said Mulligan, who was full of praise for his management team of Aidan Savage and Sean Maguire, as well as the players.
“Without the players I’d be nothing. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked for,” he added.
It remains to be seen if Mulligan will move on from Fulham after this year – he admits he has “a couple of options” and has been approached by other teams.
“I haven’t made a decision yet. I’m working here and I’m happy enough. I love managing Fulham and hopefully we can get over the line in the final,” he said.