Letterkenny Gaels have gained control of the Aughanshin parish in Letterkenny following a 40-36 vote at a Donegal county committee meeting that no pre-existing agreement ever existed with St Eunan’s over club boundaries.
The decision was reached as the meeting finished in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This follows the passing of a county by-law last November, which imposed the parish rules that set club boundaries. However, months of discussion failed to reach an agreeable solution between the two clubs. The St Eunan’s club had claimed a pre-existing agreement was in place since the foundation of Gaels in 1996, where no boundary would ever be put in place and thus allowing the townspeople the choice over which club they would represent. However, the main crux of Gaels’ argument was that their club was not formed at the time and therefore no agreement could have existed. Essentially the decision was made on Monday night to decide whether or not an agreement was ever in place.
The fall-out from the meeting means the long-standing St Eunan’s club now have the parish of Conwall and Leck as their catchment area. A St Eunan’s appeal to the Ulster Council likely to be next port of call.
At the September meeting of county committee, Jim McGlynn, secretary of Letterkenny Gaels, proposed that the by-law be implemented as a disagreement still existed Letterkenny Gaels and St Eunan’s over a boundary between the two clubs.
On Monday night, it was initially proposed to send the issue to Croke Park but the vote on whether it would or not - 44 to 20 - wanted to issue to be dealt with on the night, with some delegates saying they had been mandated by their clubs. The vote on whether the pre-existing agreement was taken after much discussion on the matter and submissions from John McDermott and McGlynn of Letterkenny Gaels, as well as St Eunan’s secretary Charlie McAteer.
Interestingly, when the vote was first cast, there were 83 votes despite the fact only 82 delegates were entitled to vote. Then, after a second vote on the issue, it was decided no pre-existing agreement was in place, with 40 voting for, 36 against and six votes being spoiled. Now, for the first time, the largest town in the county will be split along a GAA boundary.