Killoe have won their appeal to the DRA
The chairperson of Killoe Emmet Óg has spoken of his "huge relief" at a GAA Dispute Resolutions Authority (DRA) ruling to overturn the club's 48 week suspension and questioned the merits behind the ban's original implementation.
Gerry Hagan said he and all those associated with the defending Longford senior football champions were looking forward to getting back on the field of play following last Sunday night's judgement.
That found the county’s Hearings Committee had been wrong to impose a 48-week ban on the club for the non-payment of a €750 fine.
Mr Hagan, who represents Longford at GAA Central Council level, said the club were not in the business of "fighting cases in courtrooms" and hit out at the original rationale behind the 48 week suspension.
"The DRA is new ground for Killoe and it isn't where we want to focus or channel our energies but the decision by Longford Hearings Committee left us with no other avenue than to go down the road of the DRA," he said.
In its 16-page ruling, the DRA found Longford's GAA HC did not have jurisdiction in making its original determination to impose the 48 week ban on Killoe with the county's CCC and Leinster HC both subsequently erring in their respective decisions to impose and uphold the suspension.
Mr Hagan expressed his gratitude to the DRA in throwing out the original ban and said everyone associated with the club were fully focused on resuming affairs from the boardroom to playing pitches up and down the county.
The sitting Longford county councillor said he, like his fellow club officials, were not preoccupied in harbouring any ill-feeling towards those involved in the ban's initial execution, insisting the club remained keen in drawing a line under the controversy.
"I am not a person who holds grudges and there is nobody at war in Killoe with the Co Board," he said.
"All we were looking for all along was justice. That has been served now and all we are interested in is getting back playing our great national GAA games and that is what everyone connected to the Emmet Óg club is interested in.
Mr Hagan also took time to underline his confidence in the GAA's governing apparatus in making its finding and bringing an end to a month long running saga.
“I am very happy and have great faith in our appeals process and the GAA organisation as a whole in always making the right decision and to look after clubs which is the bedrock of our organisation,” he added.
Details surrounding Sunday night's DRA decision also prompted a statement by Longford GAA on Monday evening, saying it accepted the verdict and corresponding judgement for both Longford GAA Hearings Committee and the county's CCC to foot the tribunal's costs.
"Longford GAA accept the written decision of the (DRA) Tribunal in the matter of the arbitration sought by Killoe Emmet Óg and which was delivered last night.
"Longford GAA are delighted to see that Killoe Emmet Óg can resume in our Championships and we look forward to the completion of same in a timely manner.”
Killoe, meanwhile, will recommence their on-field duties on Friday night (8pm) when the club's senior footballers play their final SFC group encounter with Mostrim at the Monaduff (Drumlish) grounds.
To read the full ruling concerning Sunday night's DRA decision, log onto sportsdra.ie .