There has been huge reaction on Twitter to the news that Rathkeale GAA club (St Mary’s-Sean Finns) have been thrown out of the U-21 football championship ahead of the replayed final - for fielding an illegal player.
The Rathkeale club fielded U-16 player Mikey Morrissey in most of their games - something which isn’t permitted by GAA rule, which states you must be at least 17 to play U-21 or any adult grade. Morrissey’s involvement was brought to Limerick GAA’s attention after Rathkeale’s semi-final win over Newcastle West on St Stephen’s Day but before the final against Dromcollogher-Broadford on New Year’s Eve.
The final ended level after a thrilling game with Morrissey scoring a point but Limerick GAA acted on the matter at their CCCC meeting on Tuesday of this week by awarding the title to Drom-Broadford. The replay had been scheduled to go ahead this Saturday and Rathkeale are expected to appeal the issue in the coming days.
The matter has drawn massive reaction on Twitter with members of all three clubs getting involved.
SEANIE BUCKLEY @seaniebuckley
“Just let them play the final.This will be a farcical way to wrap up the champ and could lead to appeals from all other teams”
Limerick footballer - and Drom-Broadford clubman - Seanie Buckley not a bit happy with this U-21 development
DERRY MCCARTHY @dezmeister
“Sad when a team is thrown out for fielding under 16s, who wants to win playing no game..play the game and let the best team win #Disgraceful”
While Drom-Broadford selector doesn’t want to be awarded the title in the boardroom
DAMIEN QUAID @damienquaid
“So gutted to hear the Rathkeale U-21s are getting thrown out of the championship.. Jealousy and spitefulness is an awful thing #RathkealeAbu”
“This would turn fellas off playing the game. The player is big strong and good enough. Bad end to a great championship #joke”
Damien Quaid, a Limerick and Rathkeale senior footballer, is disappointed his clubmates have been thrown out … and reckons that the rule needs to be changed
DEAN MAUNE @DeanMaune
“In 3 months time the boy will probably be starting for the sean finns senior team but at the minute he’s too young to play under 21s #GAA #joke”
Dean Maune makes a good point. Indeed if there were to be a senior game this weekend, the player in question would be allowed to play but wouldn’t be allowed to play in the U-21 decider
IAIN CORBETT @iaincorbett
“If our club did appeal it came from above the players as a group of players we all agreed that we were beaten by a better team on the day and did not want to object to Rathkeale playing an U-16”
Iain Corbett, who was on the Newcastle West team beaten by Rathkeale in the semi-final on St Stephen’s Day, hints that he and his team-mates had no problem taking their defeat on the chin
JIMMY DILLANE @NegativeNed92
“A team should be more embarrassed they were beaten with players that young than to complain.. why even bother playing anymore”
And Jimmy Dillane seems totally disillusioned by the whole thing
BRIAN NOONAN @briannoonan
“Let the final be played. Talk about making a joke of the whole championship . #brainless
Brian Noonan isn’t too pleased either.”