Donegal GAA officials were insisting last night that the club championships were going ahead next weekend as planned.
Both the chairman of the Competitions Controls Committee Charlie Cannon and secretary Ed Byrne were adamant that the eight senior championship and the three intermediate championship games were going ahead.
The CCC officials insisted the games would take place despite calls from manager Jim McGuinness on Highland Radio on Monday morning for the games to be postponed. They also insisted that they had received no formal request from the team management to postpone the games.
Jim McGuinness made the call following Sunday’s 2-6 to 0-9 Ulster semi-final victory over Tyrone which booked Donegal’s place in the Ulster final and a July 17th meeting with Derry.
With the Ulster final just two weeks from next Sunday, the management are concerned about the impact playing a full programme of championship games next weekend will have on their preparations.
“It is a long time since we were in an Ulster final and we feel this would be a good opportunity to win it,” said McGuinness.
“If the (club) championship does go ahead this weekend it basically writes off this week for us when it comes to preparing for the final and only leaves next week for some serious work before we wind down the following week in the lead up to the game.
“A number of games are on a knife edge such as the meeting of Glenswilly and Naomh Conaill with six to seven players involved. This is a winner-takes-all game because it was a draw the last day.
“There are other big games too. A lot of players came back from the first leg games with fairly serious to medium injuries and we don’t want that situation arising again ahead of such a big game as an Ulster final.
“Anybody that has Donegal at heart wants to see us return to Donegal Town in three weeks time with the Cup. That is our primary focus and we hope that path will be cleared for us and that we can get a really good workout this week and next and then taper down the week before the game.”
However, the CCC officials are insisting that their hands are tied and that the fixture championship programme has been set in stone and approved by both the Ulster Council and the Central Council of the GAA.
“We put the schedule in place last February and it has been forwarded to the Ulster Council and the Central Council and the programme is now governed by these two bodies. We met a number of the clubs and the team management the week before last and we informed them that the championship was going ahead as scheduled with the play-offs, if there are any, on July 24th,” said Charlie Cannon.
“Our hands are really tied on the matter and if we do not get the first round completed by the end of the month we are in trouble. We simply don’t have enough weekends left to play the championship if we are to meet our schedules and have teams ready for the Ulster championship.
Meanwhile, team spokesman Maxi Curran, who along with goalkeeping coach Pat Shovlin, met the CCC on Thursday night week last, said they informed the CCC that they did not want the championship going ahead regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s semi-final.
But he did insist they were willing to release the players back to the clubs for two rounds of league games, on tomorrow night (Wednesday) and the other on Saturday night.
GAA Championship fixtures
Thursday, 30th June
Busanna Feda ó Dónaill Intermediate Championship Preliminary Round 8.00pm
Naomh Bríd V NNaille M McShane
Linesmen J White & G O Donnell
Busanna Feda ó Dónaill Intermediate Championship reserve 6.30pm
Naomh Bríd V NNaille G O Donnell
Saturday, 2nd July, 6.00 and 7.30
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Championship Senior & Reserve Championship
Naomh Micheál V Sean MacCumhaills T.B.C.
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Championship
Na Ceithre Máistirí V Bun Dobhráin Ciaran McShea
Linesmen A Mullin & E McBrearty
Gl Fhinne V Málainn Liam Brown
Linesman Rory McGonagle & Paddy McGowan
Cill Chartha V Na Cealla Beaga Ref Robbie O Donnell
Linesmen S Toolin & James Keenan
Naomh Adhamhnáin V An Clochán Laith Jimmy White
Linesmen Connie Doherty & Paul Clifford
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Reserve Championship
Na Ceithre Máistirí V Bun Dobhráin Ref Andrew Mullin
Gleann Fhinne V Málainn Paddy McGowan
Cill Chartha V Na Cealla Beaga S Toolin
Naomh Adhamhnáin V An Clochán Laith Ref Connie Doherty
Busanna Feda ó Dónaill Intermediate Championship Preliminary Round
Carndomhnaigh v Naomh Colmcille Mickey Mulhern
Linesman Paddy McKeever & Joe O Donnell
Gaeil Fhánada V Aodh Rua (Béal Átha Seanaidh) Paddy McGonagle
Linesmen James Trearty & Don Langon
Busanna Feda ó Dónaill Intermediate Reserve Championship
Carndomhnaigh v Naomh Colmcille Paddy McKeever
Gaeil Fhánada V Aodh Rua ( Béal Átha Seanaidh) Don Langon
Sunday 3rd July
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Championship @ 5.30 p.m
An Tearmann V Gaoth Dobhair Ian Molloy
Linesmen Kevin Doherty & Seamus Bradley
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Reserve Championship @ 4.00 p.m
An Tearmann V Gaoth Dobhair Kevin Doherty
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Championship 7.30 p.m
Cloich Cheann Fhola V Ard an Ratha Paddy McBride
Linesmen Martin Coll & Alan Boyd
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Reserve Championship @ 6.00 p.m
Cloich Cheann Fhola V Ard an Ratha Martin Coll
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior Championship @ 3.30 pm
Naomh Conaill V Glean Súilí Seamus McMonagle
Linesmen Pat Walsh & Tony Gallagher
RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta Senior reserve Championship 2.00 pm
Naomh Conaill V Glean Súilí Tony Gallagher
Busanna Feda ó Dónaill Junior B Preliminary Round
Sean MacCumhaills V An Termann T.B.C.
Naomh Mícheal V Ard an Ratha T.B.C
Na Rossa V Gaeil Leither Ceanainn 3.00 Kevin McGinley
Na Dúnaibh V Naomh Adhamhnáin 3.00 Benny Trearty