BY CHRIS MCNULTY
GAOTH Dobhair delegates Frank McEleney and Martin Boyle walked out of Tuesday’s meeting of the Donegal county committee after becomming angered at the failure of CCC Chairman Charlie Cannon to address issues they raised about the staging of club games last weekend.
The Gaoth Dobhair club had a proposal accepted by clubs earlier in the year which said that there would be no fixtures for Gaeltacht clubs on the weekends of the county and national finals of Comortas Peile na Gaeltachta, which are staged by the Gaoth Dobhair club this year.
The response of the Chairman to the points raised by Frank McEleney in a statement read to the meeting drew substantial fury from the club officials, who left the meeting in protest.
“CLG Gaoth Dobhair strongly object to the blatant breach of a regulation,” said the club statement, read by Mr McEleney.
“The regulation was passed unanimously by all clubs. The regulation stated that all Gaeltacht clubs would be free from any fixtures on the weekends of both competitions. This was brought to the attention of the CCC at the previous meeting, but it wasn’t heeded and fixtures went ahead.
“This not only shows a blatant disregard for the match regulations, but also to Comortas Peile na Gaeltachta.
“CLG Gaoth Dobhair had the right to take this matter to the Ulster Council but, in the interests of football in Donegal, we resisted this route.”
The club asked the Chairman to explain why the CCC set the fixtures and ‘chose to disregard the regulation’; why the county executive ‘allowed this breach of rule’; why the CCC circulated a memo to club indicating that round 7 of the League would form a double weekend on 27th April; and also called on Mr Cannon to indicate his disappointment at Gaoth Dobhair’s refusal of his request to relax their regulation in the local media.
Mr McEleney added: We tried to arrange a meeting with Charlie Cannon to sort out the two weekends. This was declined and we were told that matches were going ahead on the two weekends.
“We wish to express disappointment at the decision of the CCC to feed the local press with comments on this affair. We strongly ask that this blatant beach of regulation is not repeated at Comortas Peile na Gaeltachta Naisunta.”
Responding, Mr Cannon said that he had written to the club and asked them to relax their regulation.
“This was on the basis that we’d then be able to come back to clubs to see if we could change the regulation so we could have played games on the Saturday,” he said.
The CCC Chairman said that he would make ‘no apologies’ for the comments he made in the media and said that a similar relaxation of a regulation had taken place last year.
“We can’t go on breaking regulations just because it suits someone,” argued Frank McEleney.
“The correct forum was at the meeting that fixed regulations. The clubs voted on it and there wasn’t one voice speaking out about it.”
The Gaoth Dobhair duo subsequently left the meeting.
“Procurement is underway to deliver improvements to the site and works will commence as soon as possible.”