BY CHRIS MCNULTY
A PROPOSED amalgamation of the Dungloe and Na Rossa GAA clubs for the purpose of minor and underage football looks set to go ahead, despite an overwhelming vote against it at a meeting of the Southern Regional Board on Thursday night.
Last Monday night, a decision to accept the amalgamation was passed at the monthly meeting of the Donegal County Committee, when the County Chairman, Sean Dunnion, had to use his casting vote after a tie.
On Thursday night, at a meeting of the Southern Board in Doherty’s Bar, Ardara, a sizeable majority of the attendance voted against the amalgamation. Fifteen votes to three were in favour of lobbying the county committee at its next sitting, with eleven abstentions.
Thursday night’s vote cannot overturn the decision of county committee, given that the Southern Board is a sub-committee of that body.
The decision to accept the amalgamation has been met with widespread opposition in the south-west of the county. For a club to have the decision reversed, they would be required to contact the rest of the clubs in the county and seek to obtain a two-thirds majority in their favour at next month’s county committee meeting on Monday, February 3 in Ballybofey.
“County committee has the final say and if a club or clubs want to challenge a decision they should go through the appropriate channels,” the Donegal GAA PRO, Ed Byrne, said.
While recent amalgamations in the Southern Board’s jurisdiction – such as Killybegs joining forces with Naomh Ultan and the pairing of Naomh Brid and Pettigo – have been passed without much fuss, this latest proposal has had high-ranking club officials in the area calling the amalgamation the creation of a ‘super club’.
Last week, Na Rossa secretary Pat Boyle outlined his club’s difficulties, stating that the club had ‘only three under-14s, four under-16s and obviously are unable to field teams at under-14 and under-16’.
As well as regularising Na Rossa players to play for Dungloe at these grades, the meeting last week passed an amalgamation of the clubs for minor football, going through on the casting vote of the Chairman.
That came after a stalemate when the proposal was put to the clubs, with 25 delegates voting in favour and 25 voting against. There had been 26 abstentions.
The amalgamation is to be called Dungloe/Na Rossa and would field two teams in the both the Minor League and Minor Championship. It is understood that the clubs reached an agreement where they would alternate their home venue between Rosses Park and Dooey as well as alternating club jerseys from game to game.
For the decision of last Monday’s county committee to be overthrown, it will now require a club to take the lead in voicing its opposition and making a proposal against its continuation in time for the February meeting, and would need a two-thirds majority to succeed.