Mohill GAA Club have called for the resignation of Leitrim GAA County Board Secretary Diarmuid Sweeney following a controversial weekend of the final being fixed, postponed, refixed and eventually conceded as St. Manchan’s were presented with the 2013 Minor League Cup last Monday evening at the Mohill club grounds after Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s conceded a walk-over.
Cosite na nOg Chairman Terence Boyle presented St. Manchan’s captain Darragh Gordon with the Cup in the slightly surreal setting of the Mohill GAA Club grounds, with the entire St. Manchan’s team togged out after O’Heslin’s said that they would be uanble to field a team due to a severe injury list.
The presentation of the Cup did little to soothe Mohill’s annoyance over the saga and Mohill Club Chairman Padraig McLoughlin told the Observer that the club intended to seek the resignation of County Board Secretary Diarmuid Sweeney - “We intend to bring this whole situation further. This morning (Monday) I was talking with Joe Flynn and I said we were going to look for Diarmuid Sweeney to step down because we think it’s so serious.
“I asked for a meeting this week but he (Joe Flynn) said that with all that is going on arranging the trip to New York on Thursday it wasn’t possible to arrange a meeting this week so it’s going to be left to the next County Board meeting. That’s how strongly we feel about it.”
The saga erupted when the Minor League Final between Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s and St. Manchan’s (comprised of players from the Mohill, Eslin and Cloone clubs) was postponed late on Wednesday evening. The St. Manchan’s officials said they did not receive notice and only knew of the fact when one of their officials noticed it on the Leitrim GAA website.
The refixed Final was first refixed for tonight (Wednesday, May 1) but with a St. Manchan’s mentor unable to attend, the game was then fixed for last Monday, April 29, but Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s officials informed the County Board that they would simply not be able to fulfill the fixture due to their small numbers and a crippling injury list.
“It’s not just about ourselves,” said Mr McLoughlin, “it’s about young lads and we went over there to the dressing room to address them young lads and when you go out there you will see a fine group of young lads all prepared to play football and we have to explain to them that the people who have decisions to make are making a bags of it.”
Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s GAA Club Chairman Michael Quinn told the Observer that the club did not intend to appeal the County Board’s decision as even a two week postponement would not alleviate their injury crisis - “We simply hadn’t got enough players, there wasn’t a hope of us being able to field, our reasons for not playing are genuine.”
An official from Leitrim GAA County Board said that all fixtures were a matter for the Competitions Control Committee and Cosite na nOg Chairman Terence Boyle told the Observer on Monday “We are in the job of promoting games at underage level and we don’t like to see a cup handed over without a game but unfortunately Ballinamore found themselves in a position where they were unable to field on two separate evenings and we had to go ahead.”