Limerick await report into suspension irregularities

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Oliver Mann, Chairman of the Limerick County Board
LIMERICK GAA officials are awaiting a Croke Park report after raising concerns with GAA Headquarters about the legitimacy of their Division 1B league final loss.

LIMERICK GAA officials are awaiting a Croke Park report after raising concerns with GAA Headquarters about the legitimacy of their Division 1B league final loss.

It emerged last weekend that Dublin, “unknowingly” fielded an illegal player in the final in Thurles.

Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann confirmed that he contacted Croke Park to investigate the issue.

A GAA management meeting is scheduled for Croke Park this Friday and Limerick are expecting that the issue will be on the agenda.

Dublin free-taker Paul Ryan was sent off for a straight red card offence when Limerick and Dublin met in the round robin series of the league on March 16 last in Croke Park.

Ryan served a one-match ban in The Dubs game against Wexford and then returned to score 1-8 against Limerick in the final in Semple Stadium.

However, all changed last weekend when it emerged that Lar Corbett and JJ Delaney were to serve a four-week ban and not a match ban.

A trial match based ban was used in 2012, but the GAA’s Cental Appeals Committee ruled in the case of Longford footballer Barry Gilleran that the GAA should have reverted to time-based bans from January 1.

All that means that Paul Ryan should have served a four week ban and therefore miss the league final.

“I would like to state that Limerick GAA is no way saying Dublin deliberately fielded an illegal player in the Division 1B hurling league final,” said Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann in a statement.

“However, in the light of Barry Gilleran, Lar Corbett and JJ Delaney’s situations, this may now appear to be the case.”

He continued: “As the time frame for an objection has long passed, Limerick are not considering going down that road. The CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) can, however, of its own accord investigate the composition of any team taking part in a competition under its control.”

Limerick GAA officials have made representations to the CCCC and they expect that committee to have their findings ready for discussion at Friday’s management meeting in Croke Park.

“For the sake of everybody, we hope that they clarify this particular situation as soon as possible,” said Oliver Mann.

However, it is most unlikely that Limerick are to profit from the current administrative mess.

While all would love to see Limerick back in the top flight of the league for 2014, it appears more likely that another season in the second tier awaits.

Of course it would be somewhat ironic if Limerick were to benefit from the suspension irregularity as it was a boardroom league restructure that saw Limerick’s 2011 league promotion deemed null and void.

Limerick have constantly called for another league restructure but any chance would require a two-thirds majority at a Central Council meeting.

The suspension irregularities was only briefly discussed at this Tuesday night’s May monthly meeting of the County Board.

The chairman confirmed to the club delegates that he had raised the issue with Croke Park but there was no further debate.

He did stress that Limerick weren’t suggesting any “wrong-doing by Dublin.”

Also at that County Board meeting there was a plea from Limerick GAA treasurer Donal Morrissey to clubs.

He outlined that almost one third of clubs in Limerick hadn’t paid either their registration, affiliation or insurance monies to the County Board.

“This needs to be addressed. We spoke here at the last County Board meeting about our finances. I am working on that but I need the help of the clubs and the simple way for clubs to help is to pay these. There was no question of levies on the clubs to help our finances but we need people to pay their affiliations, insurance and registration money,” stressed the treasurer.