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Donegal minors hit by hefty bans; County Board expected to appeal

Donegal minor manager Declan Bonner

Donegal minor manager Declan Bonner

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

THE Donegal County Board is expected to submit a strong appeal to the Ulster Council after it was informed that two minor footballers and two members of that team’s backroom staff have been handed eight-week suspensions.

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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, a Tyrone native, who 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 this 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.

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