Mayo LGFA confirm they’ll appeal Connacht decision to reinstate Carnacon

MAYO CLUBS HAVE voted overwhelmingly in favour of appealing the decision to reinstate Carnacon into the senior league and championship for the 2018 season.

The decision was taken at a county board meeting on Tuesday night after the reigning Mayo, Connacht and All-Ireland club champions won their appeal to the Connacht LGFA last week.

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The42 understands that club delegates voted 30-3 in favour of taking the appeal forward to the Connacht Council proper.

Carnacon were previously thrown out of the 2018 competitions on the back of a vote taken by Mayo clubs at a county board meeting in August, with delegates voting 26-2 in favour of removing Carnacon on that occasion.

The decision was made under rule 288 of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association which relates to bringing the game into disrepute. The rule states that “any member of the Association found guilty of conduct calculated to bring the Association into disrepute shall be liable to expulsion or suspension by the committee, board or council concerned.”

The situation stems from a fall-out during the summer where the club withdrew all eight of their players from Peter Leahy’s Mayo inter-county panel in July, citing “player welfare issues”.

Mayo’s all-time leading scorer and Carnacon stalwart Cora Staunton was the highest profile player involved in the walk-out.

Carnacon subsequently presented their case to the Connacht Council appeals sub-committee and it was struck out on a technicality. 

Carnacon released a statement last week following the decision to have the controversial ban overturned, in which they said they were ‘satisfied with this outcome and feel it reflects the impulsive, heavy handed approach initially taken by the Mayo Ladies County Board.’

Mayo LGFA will now appeal that decision to the Connacht Council proper, with further appeals available to both parties if a satisfactory outcome is not reached.

The Mayo Ladies football squad released a statement to The42 on Tuesday saying that “no player welfare issues exist or have ever existed under the current management” led by Leahy, and they “categorically disagree” with that claim which was made when the 12 players left the squad.

“We were surprised and disappointed to hear of these issues and if we had witnessed any welfare issues, we would not have hesitated to highlight them to the management,” the statement read.

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Speaking on OTBAM this morning, Staunton said the “contents of the statement was very disappointing” and denied claims there had been a “failed coup” in the camp.

“We acknowledge that none of them girls that were in the panel at the time – maybe 20 other girls – have witnessed anything of concern,” she said. 

“But that doesn’t say that nothing has existed. They may not have witnessed it but that’s not to say it didn’t exist. There’s issues there, they’re very sensitive and personal to the people involved.

“We have been very dignified and we’re not using the media or places like that as a platform to air our problems. We want these problems sorted and investigated. None of that has happened

“There are 14 people here who have walked away, eight of those from one club,” Staunton continued.

“We had certain reasons for walking away and because of this we’re being punished because eight girls from one club decided to walk away.

“The 14 people that left the senior team in July all left for the same reason. I think that’s been lost out there.

“We feel it’s nearly a witch-hunt on the club at this stage. From off of this, the way to go was punish Carnacon. The standard bearers in Ladies football for the last 20 years in the county. It’s hugely disappointing that we’re being treated this way. 

“These issues are not to be dragged through the public and for the public to be saying, ‘This is right, this is wrong.’”

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