Naomh Colmcille have been spared an eight-week suspension for hosting an ‘unauthorised tournament’, it has been confirmed.
The Newtowncunningham-based club faced the prospect of having to forfeit its games for eight weeks after the Donegal GAA Management Committee proposed the suspension.
Naomh Colmcille was charged with staging ‘an unauthorised tournament’ at Pairc Colmcille in February.
A fundraising tournament – organised by an external committee – was held in aid of Paul Dillon, a former player and coach at the club, who has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.
Naomh Colmcille members had an appeal heard by the Donegal Hearings Committee on Tuesday night.
The Hearings Committee found that the club was in breach of two rules. The same penalty has been imposed in respect of each rule breach.
Following some lengthy deliberations, the Hearings Committee have ruled that Naomh Colmcille lose their ‘home venue for all adult games’ for 12 weeks – a period covering five home games – while a fine of €250 has been imposed.
The penalties for the loss of home games are to run concurrently while the €500 fine is to be paid to the Donegal County Board by the end of May.
While the Board’s hands were tied and bound by the terms of the Official Guide, the Hearings Committee has plenary powers in determining sanctions.
The tournament in question was part of a wide fundraising drive that raised a collective €85,000 to carry out necessary repairs to the Dillon family home.
Initially, the Donegal GAA Management Committee sanctioned Naomh Colmcille under sections 5.1 and 6.40 of the GAA’s Official Guide.
Naomh Colmcille were charged for an ‘unauthorised tournament held on Pairc Colmcille on 23rd February 2019 and the use of grounds for this tournament’.