Donegal GAA enjoyed a good night at the Ulster Council on Thursday night when Declan Bonner had his proposed lengthy ban halved.
The Donegal U-21 manager was facing a 24 week ban for comments he made to Derry referee, Barry Cassidy, after the recent Ulster U-21 semi-final meeting of Donegal and Tyrone, Celtic Park, Derry City, at the end of March.
The ban was proposed by the Ulster Council Central Competition’s Control Committee after the referee had reported the Na Rossa club man in his report on the match.
Bonner, as is his right, asked for a hearing of the case by the Ulster Council’s Hearings’ Committee. All bans in the GAA are initially proposed and the individual or club/county either accept the proposed suspension or can ask for a hearing before the appropriate Hearings’ Committee.
Declan Bonner, accompanied by Donegal chairman Sean Dunnion, had his appeal heard in Armagh on Thursday night and succeeded in getting the ban halved from the proposed 24 weeks, down to 12 weeks.
Meanwhile, both the Donegal and Tyrone boards were successful in their appeal against a fine of €1,000 each which was being proposed for both counties following an ugly melee that broke out at the end of the U-21 game in Derry,
After hearing the Donegal and Tyrone arguments against the imposition the fines were thrown out by the Ulster Hearings’ Committee,al though the two counties were warned about their future behaviour.
Donegal were represented at the hearing by Sean Dunnion and county treasurer Cieran Kelly.
Tyrone won the match by four points on a score of 1-15 to 2-8 on a night that Donegal ended the game with 13 players.
Stephen McMenamin and Bruce Waldron were red carded by Barry Cassidy, both in the second half, and Donegal also lost midfielder Caolan McGonagle to a back card in the second period.
It was Donegal’s second successive U-21 Ulster Championship defeat to Tyrone. The Red Hands also defeated Donegal in the previous year’s final, also in Celtic Park. Donegal were then managed by Maxi Curran, a member of Rory Gallagher’s senior management team.
The reduced ban run from the date of the game March 30th which means the suspension with be up on Wednesday, June 22nd.