BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE Donegal County Board will lodge an appeal to the Ulster Council tomorrow morning against the eight-week suspension given to two minor players and two members of the minor backroom team.
On Tuesday morning notification was received from the provincial body that two players and two backroom team members had been handed the hefy punishment after being found guilty of “misconduct considered to have discredited the association”, under rule 7.2 of the official guide.
It follows an alleged incident at half-time in the Ulster Minor Football Championship quarter-final game against Armagh at the Athletic Grounds on May 31.
The Donegal News understands that the alleged incident involved an Ulster Council official, who it has transpired is a Tyrone native, Michael McGoldrick, who had been a member of the Tyrone senior team’s backroom staff for the Ulster SFC preliminary round game in Ballybofey.
It is understood that the incident at the Athletic Grounds occured when the official attempted to gain entry to the Donegal dressing room towards the end of the half-time interval.
It is believed that the official was instructing Donegal that their permitted time in the dressing room during the break was over and that the apparent clash occurred as players and mentors left the dressing room.
The Donegal Board issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon: “Following much media speculation this morning, CLG Dhún na nGall can confirm that we have received communication from Comhairle Uladh with regard to a disciplinary matter at half-time of the Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final game v Armagh on Sunday May 31st. There will be no further comment at this time and CLG Dhun na nGall would respectfully request that consideration be given to the fact that names of underage players should be be speculated upon while consideration is being given to an appeal process.”
The Ulster Council, after receiving a complaint from the official involved, met on the allegation following Sunday’s Ulster SFC game between Derry and Down at Celtic Park and subsequently issued the hefty punishment.
Donegal are understood to have arrived onto the pitch roughly a minute and a half after the designated 10-minutes had elapsed, although it was noted on the night in question that they were on the field well in advance of their Armagh counterparts.
Declan Bonner’s team are due to take on Derry in an Ulster semi-final in Clones on June 27.