Ardara GAA club are in shock that an application to play in next month’s All-Ireland Gaeltacht competition has been refused by the Donegal Competitions Control Committee (CCC).
Ardara, beaten semi-finalists in this year’s Donegal senior competition, were invited to represent Donegal at the national finals of the championship in Ring, Co Waterford, after Donegal winners St Michael’s pulled out of the competition.
Ardara were the third choice. Naomh Columba, who St. Michael’s beat in the Donegal final two weeks ago, were the second choice, but it is understood they turned down the opportunity to make the trip to Ring.
Ardara’s application was turned down by the CCC at a meeting last Thursday night after the club had been invited to take the place of St Michael’s. The invitation to Ardara came from the Donegal Comortas Peil Na Gaeltachta.
“We are very disappointed that we are not being allowed to go to Ring after being invited into the competition to take St Michael’s place. In fact we were shocked when we received the word,” said Ardara club secretary Mary Kelly.
“We hold the competition very dearly and value it as much as the All-County Football League and Club Championship - especially as we are hosting the All-Ireland ourselves in two years’ time.
“It reflects badly on Donegal that the county will not have a representative at the tournament. I know Gaoth Dobhair are going, but they are going as the reigning All-Ireland champions and not going as the Donegal representatives.”
“The CCC always knew that there were two teams from the county competing in the senior championship this year. And provision had been made for this in the fixtures that were agreed with the clubs and approved by the county committee. Now they have moved the goalposts.”
The CCC informed Ardara that theyreason for the refusal was because three of the four groups in the senior championship were playing in the senior club championship on the weekend of the All-Ireland Gaeltacht.
However, the club secretary rejects this assertion and claims that it was agreed by the clubs and approved by county committee that two groups were out on the June weekend and that the other two were out on the following weekend.
This was to accommodate the two clubs going to the Gaeltacht. Ardara have been in contact with senior officials in the county on the matter but as of now they are not travelling to Waterford.
Sean McGinley, secretary of the CCC, did not wish to make any comment on the matter when contacted by the Donegal Democrat/Peoples Press last night.