Donegal GAA officials are ‘baffled’ at being called to Croke Park to go before the association’s high powered managment committee.
The Donegal chairman Sean Dunnion and secretary Aodh Mairtín O’Fearraigh have been summoned to GAA Headquarters in relation to the decision to not play next year’s senior and intermediate club championships until after Donegal have completed their All-Ireland campaign.
“We are totally baffled to be honest because we have broken no rule and it was a decision of the county committee,” county secretary Aodh Mairtín O’ Fearraigh said.
It is understood the decision to call Donegal to next Friday’s meeting has come about following a complaint from the chairman of the association’s Player Scientific and Welfare committee.
The decision to haul Donegal over the coals seems a strange one in light of what was the practice in a number of other counties in 2013.
Neighbours Tyrone did not kick a ball in either their senior championship or intermediate championship until after their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final at the end of August.
Both Dublin and Kildare too parked up their championships until after their campaigns. In the case of Dublin, that was the All-Ireland final.
Donegal’s senior and intermediate clubs voted by a large majority to delay the start of next ‘ senior and intermediate championship until after Donegal complete their All-Ireland campaign.
That decision followed an earlier meeting which the clubs had with Donegal manager Jim McGuinness. At that meeting McGuinness had proposed that at least one and possibly two rounds of the championships be played in April and early May before being parked up until after Donegal had finished their inter-county campaign.
There was very little appetite for the manager’s proposal and the vast bulk of the clubs, with a number of notable exceptions, voted for an end of August date at the earliest.
The decision was welcomed by Jim McGuinness who had more or less laid it down as one of the conditions for his remaining on to complete the fourth year of his term as county manager.
However, it did receive a lukewarm reaction from club players and managers.One leading club manager, Eamon O’Boyle of St. Eunan’s described it as the lesser of two evils.
They meeting in Croke Park takes place on Friday night week next, November 15th.
Meanwhile, the Donegal Competitions Controls Committee is back in the dock again this week. After having their decision to rule that Termon, not Dungloe, play Glenfin in the Division Two promotion play-off upheld by the Ulster Council, they face a fresh challenge from Naomh Muire.
The Lower Rosses side have lodged an appeal with the Ulster Council against the decision of the CCC to rule that they play Sean MacCumhaills in a play-off to determine who faces Cloughaneely in a Division Two relegation play-off.
Naomh Muire contend that because they have finished fourth from bottom of Division Two, they should be excluded from the play-off as they have a better score average than MacCumhaills. Both clubs ended level on points.
Dungloe are awaiting the official judgement in writing on their unsuccessful appeal to Ulster before considering their options.
It’s understood the Ulster Hearings Committee deemed the Donegal CCC were correct to rule that ‘head-to-head’ results meant that Termon and not Dungloe should face Glenfin in the Division Two promotion play-off.
That play-off replay takes place on Saturday.