Martin Sludden, the referee who was assaulted by Louth supporters at Croke Park last month has given a full statement to police. Up to six people are now facing charges.
After the final whistle blew on the Meath versus Louth Leinster Football Final match angry Louth spectators took to the pitch and attacked Sludden. He was escorted from the pitch by police.
Although there are six people suspected of being involved sources told the Sunday Tribune that four of the men would certainly be charged over the incident.
Having consulted with the GAA the referee agreed to give a statement this week and detectives now plan to interview the six suspects having studied the CCTV footage of the incident.
It is suspected that the men will be charged under the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act, 1997. A source told the Tribune that the men would not face serious charged as the assault was mainly “jostling and pushing” and called it an “emotionally charged incident.”
GAA president Christy Cooney said "Martin Sludden's role in the Leinster final has been well documented, and at this stage it needs to be pointed out that he held his hands up and admitted his mistake after that match. I would like to laud the role that our referees play in our games and stress that without them, our games simply wouldn't take place."
The mistake that Cooney spoke of was the ruling that Sludden made on an injury-time goal. Meath’s Joe Sheridan scored a last second goal which Sludden, after consulting with the umpire, let stand. He later admitted he was mistaken. This cost Louth their first Leinster title in 60 years.
Sludden held his hands up after the match and said that his ruling was a “terrible mistake”.