In a dramatic twist to the Diarmuid Connolly suspension debacle, Louth County Board has released a statement calling on Croke Park to overturn the result of the 2010 Leinster Final. The move has been supported by Peter Fitzpatrick TD, the then Louth manager.
In an emergency meeting held by Louth County Board, it was decided that a precedent had been set by the GAA’s decision to overturn Diarmuid Connolly’s ban ahead of Dublin’s All Ireland Semi Final with Mayo.
Here is the statement in full.
“The Louth County Board was astounded this morning to see that Dublin footballer, Diarmuid Connolly, has been unbanned from today’s All Ireland Semi Final. Louth County Board had been under the impression that the decision of the referee was final.
“In light of this new precedent, Louth County Board have been in touch with Headquarters and demanded that the GAA review the result of the 2010 Leinster Senior Football Championship Final as a matter of urgency.
“Louth County Board appealed to the GAA in July 2010 to have the game replayed. This appeal was turned down. An appeal to the sportsmanship of Meath GAA was similarly but unsurprisingly rejected.
“Louth County Board simply did not know/was not informed that it could have gotten a replay on the third appeal.
“Phone calls have been made to the 2010 Louth panel to check on their availability and fitness for an expected replay and proper tilt at the 2010 All Ireland Football Championship.”
The decision to appeal could have widespread repercussions not only for this year’s All Ireland Championship, but also for all subsequent championships since 2010.
Louth County Board have sought legal counsel on the matter and have been advised that all Gaelic football matches played at inter-county level since the 2010 Leinster Final are likely to be declared null and void. It is not yet known whether the ruling will extend to county league and championship matches.
Leading by example, Louth County Board have since put the Louth Senior Football Championship on hold pending the result of the appeal. Clubs have been notified that all games since July 2010 (including underage competitions) may have to be declared null and void and even replayed. Players are advised to hand any medals back to their clubs and any individuals who gained employment as a result of their footballing prowess are also advised to resign from their positions in light of the new evidence.
Speaking to The Faa Side’s Sports correspondent Michael White from a beauty parlour in Dundalk, Peter Fitzpatrick TD, the then Louth supremo, fully supported Louth County Board’s decision to appeal.
“They’re dead right so they are, Michael. Michael, in my mind the referee’s decision is final so it is Michael, even if he’s wrong or temporarily confuses the rules of the game with the rules of rugby Michael, which for some reason I can’t comprehend has become popular in recent years. Michael, there simply has to be that respect there so there does, Michael.”
Fitzpatrick, known locally as Fitzer, visibly angered when asked about 2010.
“There’s no doubt about it, Michael. I saw Dick Turpin that day and he wasn’t pretty that’s for certain now… We was robbed that day Michael so we were, robbed. It still hurts me here so it does, Michael. But lookit, it’ll be good for the lads to get some closure. I still think we can go a long way in the (2010) championship, Michael. People don’t give us enough credit so they don’t Michael. I’d put money on us to reach the semis. In fact you know what, I’m off to the bookies now so I am. Thanks Michael”
More to follow…