FALKIRK forward Kevin O’Hara has been banned for eight matches for verbally abusing Dunfermline’s Dean Shiels.

It is understood O’Hara made comments relating to the fact that Shiels had an eye removed earlier in his career. The former Rangers and Northern Ireland midfielder underwent surgery in 2006 after losing sight in one eye in a domestic accident when he was eight.

O’Hara, 19, received the suspension for “excessive misconduct” following a disciplinary hearing in front of a three-man panel convened by the Scottish Football Association.

A Falkirk spokesman said: “The club take note of the decision made by the Scottish FA Judicial Panel and are in the process of requesting the written reasons. No further comment will be made at this time.”

Another Falkirk player, Joe McKee, faces a similar charge next week but O’Hara had asked for his hearing to be brought forward.

The incident occurred during Falkirk’s 2-0 Irn-Bru Cup victory over their arch-rivals on October 3. Shiels was sent off deep into stoppage-time for a challenge on McKee.

Speaking about the red card after the match, Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston said: “I think it was needless but there was maybe poor remarks getting made to Deano.”