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Naomh Conaill ‘seek justice’ in Croke Park

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BY HARRY WALSH

NAOMH Conaill officials will be looking for ‘justice’ when they travel to GAA headquarters later this evening.

It follows confirmation that the Glenties-based club have lodged an appeal with the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) in Croke Park. GAA chiefs have confirmed that a hearing will take place in Croke Park 8.30pm tonight, Friday. Naomh Conaill representatives will be in attendance.

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It’s part of their ongoing grievance which stemmed from a black-card incident involving Ciaran Bonner during last month’s RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta Donegal SFC semi-final clash with Glenswilly, but it is not thought likely that the outcome of the appeal will have a bearing on the Ulster Club Championship.

St Eunan’s, who won the Dr Maguire Cup for a record-equalling 14th time last Sunday, beating Glenswilly in the decider, play Roslea in the Ulster Club Championship quarter-final this Sunday in O’Donnell Park.

A Naomh Conaill club spokesperson said the club feel ‘very aggrieved’ by the way the case has been dealt with by both the Ulster Council and the Donegal Competitions Control Committee.

“This is not about getting a replay or asking for the Championship to be taken away from any team at this stage. It’s about vindication for the way we were treated in the first place. It’s about proving our point that we were right ot bring the case the CCC,” David Kelch, Naomh Conaill’s county committee delegate, said.

It is understood that Naomh Conaill will not seek to rewind the clock and have the semi-final and final of the Donegal SFC replayed.

“We’re looking for justice at this stage. All we want now is for someone to say that Donegal were wrong in the original decision they made,” Mr Kelch added.

The club are appealing the decision of the Ulster Hearings Committee to turn down their appeal against the Donegal CCC’s decision on the game between themselves and Glenswilly.

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The provincial body dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the relevant paperwork submitted by Naomh Conaill was not in order.

One leading GAA official said the if the CAC were to uphold the Naomh Conaill appeal, it would be ‘highly unlikely’ that it would impinge on Sunday’s meeting of St Eunan’s and Roslea.

Naomh Conaill’s grievance stemmed from a black-card incident involving Ciaran Bonner.

Glenswilly led the Glenties-based team by a single point with two minutes of normal time remaining, when Bonner was black-carded by referee Jimmy White and subsequently replaced by substitute Oisin Crawford, who scored a point after his introduction.

Glenswilly went on to prevail on a 0-10 to 0-08 scoreline, but Bonner was not eligible to be replaced, having already picked up a yellow card.

Glenswilly subsequently lost out to St Eunan’s in last Sunday’s SFC final.

St Eunan’s take on Fermanagh champions Roslea at O’Donnell Park on Sunday at 2.30pm.

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