Suspended Carnacon players lodge another appeal but could miss two games this weekend

Updated Oct 1st 2018, 8:13 PM

CARNACON HAVE APPEALED the two-week suspensions that were imposed by the LGFA’s National Appeals Committee last week on the eight players who left the Mayo panel.

The42 understands that Carnacon formally lodged their appeal to LGFA Central Council this morning and it is likely to be heard in the next seven days.

In the meantime, Carnacon have two Mayo ladies SFC games to play this weekend and will be without their suspended contingent unless a successful appeal takes place before Friday night.

The reigning All-Ireland champions were due to play Castlebar Mitchels yesterday but the game was postponed due to a bereavement in the Carnacon club.

Today's senior game against Carnacon has been postponed due to a bereavement

— Castlebar LGFA (@CastlebarLgfc) September 30, 2018

Source: Castlebar LGFA/Twitter

Carnacon will face Castlebar in the refixed game on Friday night before they take on Knockmore in their final Group A game on Sunday.

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The bans are due to expire at midnight on Thursday 11 October but by appealing to Central Council, Carnacon are running the risk of longer suspensions being imposed if it is not successful.

Source: Mayo LGFA

The eight players – Cora Staunton, Fiona McHale, Martha Carter, Marie Corbett, Amy Dowling, Doireann Hughes, Sadhbh Larkin and Saoirse Walsh – were initially given four-week bans. Their appeal to the National Appeals Committee saw two-week suspensions imposed instead after a lengthy six-hour meeting in the Tullamore Court Hotel last Thursday.

The report from last week’s appeal hearing, signed by all seven members of the National Appeals Committee, has been seen by The42. It revealed that the initial four-week bans imposed on the Carnacon players were “quashed because of the procedural irregularities” used by the Connacht Council. Instead, two-week suspensions were imposed on the players for bringing the Association into disrepute. 

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In attendance at the meeting in Tullamore were the eight Carnacon players and representatives from the Connacht Council, Connacht Appeals Committee, Mayo County Board. A solicitor from Leman Solicitors was also present to ensure that a fair hearing was conducted.

The Mayo county board explained at the hearing that “the collective withdrawal of the eight Carnacon Players, the manner in which their withdrawal was communicated to the manager and their subsequent press statements which was intended to make the function of the Mayo manager untenable, was calculated to bring the Association into disrepute.”

Carnacon’s Fiona McHale

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The Carnacon players responded through their spokesperson Fiona McHale and, according to the document, she argued that “they are amateurs, they are entitled to withdraw their services to their County at any time without bringing the Association into disrepute, that they did not want to be there, that their initial press statement was representative of Carnacon and non-Carnacon players in response to media pressure, that the timing of the initial statements was significant and that both Mr Leahy and Mayo County Board indulged in press statements which exacerbated the issues.”

The Committee stated they were “disappointed by the paucity of their response” in relation to the “justification for the withdrawal and the justification for issuing a press statement and the tone of initial press statements after they withdrew from the Mayo team.”

While the Committee agreed that the decision of the players to leave the Mayo panel “should not of itself be regarded as bringing the Association into disrepute”, they were slapped with two-week bans because of how their withdrawal from the squad “was communicated and the initial press statements which led to innuendo against Mr Leahy.”

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