A former GAA president has said that people who ‘lose the run of themselves’ on the sidelines must be punished to the full extent of the rules.
Nickey Brennan said the GAA has been "letting people off the hook a bit" and urged the organisation to implement the strongest punishment possible under the rules.
He also warned that there are some people working with underage teams around the country that are ‘simply not fit’ for mentor roles.
Mr Brennan joined The Hard Shoulder to discuss the culture change that he believes is needed.
"It's not that there's an epidemic of [assaults] every weekend, but certainly they seem to garner more publicity in recent times," he said.
According to Mr Brennan, the split-season is a factor in the rising number of incidents.
"The season has been tightened, which means that games are coming in quick rapidity," he said. "It means that there's maybe a lot more pressure on teams. It means that there's a lot of that, maybe, extra time and matches now."
"Definitely this seems to have brought, maybe, more tension to games because if you don't win it on the day, then you won't be out the next day."
"Off the hook"
He also believes that the GAA and society are "letting people off the hook a bit" regarding their behaviour.
"These are people who have totally lost the run of themselves on the sideline, and they need to be brought to book," he said.
"I think the GAA rules are not too bad in that regard."
According to Mr Brennan, venues and egos also play a part.
"It's probably more obvious at a venue perhaps where there isn't an enclosed pitch, where people are up the sidelines and where mentors are encroaching on each other's territories", he said.
"There are probably some people involved with underage teams in particular ... who simply are not fit to take on those roles because they don't understand the meaning of the word respect."
"I'm just saying there are some people that just a mentor role in a team is possibly not appropriate."
Listen back to the full conversation here.