Following the abandonment of the Club’s First team game against Square Utd. in Ardee on 15th January, the Meath & District League considered the matter and decided to fine the Club €100 as a result. A Club official was criticised for for his actions on the day and in addition the Club was issued with a reminder as to its responsibilities.
As a result of considerable concern by members of the Club’s Committee with regard to the decision of the MDL it was decided to appeal the matter to the Leinster Football Association.
The following is a formal statement by the Committe of the Club following the decision of the LFA on the appeal.
The Committee of the Club is delighted with the recent decision of the Leinster Football Association to uphold the Club’s appeal in relation to the earlier decision of the Meath & District League, regarding the Premier Division game against Square Utd. in Ardee on 15th January.
The LFA decision to allow the result stand was not unexpected and is quite reasonable. Our team was trailing by a goal when the game was abandoned shortly before the end and having been reduced to 10 men it is more likely that we would have lost the game in any event. What was far more important to us was that we should be exonerated from responsibility for the abandonment and this has been confirmed by the decision of the LFA to remove the fine imposed by the MDL.
The fine itself was never an issue. Rather what concerned us was what it represented –responsibility for the abandonment and the alleged failure of our officials on the day to act properly. The initial decision by the MDL was taken on foot of substantially inaccurate information submitted to it. This was unacceptable to us and we were not prepared to allow the good name of our Club and the personal reputations of those running it –all unpaid volunteers, to be damaged because of that.
The decision of the LFA vindicates the action of our team manager in taking a correct and principled stand in relation to the dismissal of one of our players on the day and we were pleased to note that no sanctions were imposed on him personally by the MDL.
We regret very much the inaccurate and damaging publicity given this matter in the local and national press over a number of weeks -all of which conveyed a hugely incorrect version of events on the day. The press reports in question were based on incorrect information from an unreliable source. Some of them were published before the MDL took its decision originally. Our Club was not consulted at the time for a comment and the author of the reports was not present at the game on the day. To our great regret a request for a correction and an apology has been rejected and in consequence long standing relationships have been damaged.
Those who work in the voluntary sector deserve to have their efforts respected and they are entitled to a very high duty of care in the preservation of their good names. This was not observed on this occasion and for that reason the Club took the necessary action and we are very pleased that justice has been upheld.
We would like to thank the Meath & District League and also the Leinster Football Association for their courtesy and co-operation in relation to this matter.