Donegal’s ability to stage big Ulster championship games in Sean MacCumhaill Park is under review by the Ulster Council.
The Donegal county committee have been warned that they may have a fight on their hands to stage big championship games in Ballybofey in the future. And it is all down to a lack of sufficient numbers of volunteer stewards making themselves available for big games.
BY TOM COMACK
This was the message to Monday night’s county committee meeting from Donegal’s representative on the Ulster Council, Edward Molloy.
The Ardara official informed the county committee that the number that turned up for a special training night that was organised the Monday night before the recent Derry championship game in Ballybofey was disappointing, and that far less than the numbers required turned up on the evening of the same game to steward at the game.
“It is very disappointing because some clubs are very good and other don’t bother. The number for the Derry game and for the training night beforehand were very disappointing and I can tell you the Ulster Council were not impressed,” said Mr. Molloy.
“We had 55 people for the training night when we were expecting at least 100 and a number of those that turned up were already trained and regular stewards. It was even worse on the evening of the game when only 60 turned up to work at the game when the required number was 80 and that did not go down well with the Ulster Council.
“It is not good enough and unless we get more people to come forward we may have a fight on our hands to host big championship game in Ballybofey.
“The bottom line is that we are going to have to come up with more voluntary stewards, otherwise we will certainly lose out and will not be considered and that is the last thing anyone in the county should want to happen to be not able to play home games in the championship.”
The Ulster Council, as is customary every year, is currently reviewing all championship venues and that report is expected to be completed by the middle of the month and then each county that staged a game will receive a copy of that report and will also review the report with Ulster officials.
The Ulster Council itself did not get off scot free at Monday night’s meeting either. Jim Quinn from Glenfin, the Northern Regional Board chairman, who acted as a steward and was based in the seated stand, told of having awful problems with people turning up with tickets for seats at the back of the stand that were no longer in use and seemingly have not been for some time following a safety officers report on the ground.