BALLAGHADERREEN footballer James Kilcullen has declared for Sligo.
In correspondence read out by Acting Secretary Vincent Neary at last Thursday’s meeting of Mayo GAA Board, the midfielder expressed a wish to declare for Sligo, and pointed out that his parents’ first club was St Patrick’s, Dromard.
“That has been checked out in Croke Park and that’s above board,” said Chairman Paddy McNicholas, confirming the legality of the declaration. McNicholas added that Kilcullen’s family connection meant he could represent Sligo while continuing to play his club football for county champions Ballaghaderreen.
Kilcullen was named The Mayo News/O’Neills Club Stars Player of the Year in 2012 after a series of outstanding performances in the club championship. A former IT Sligo student, he played one championship match for Mayo, against London in 2011.
The sanctioning of the declaration was proposed by Danny Kelly (Kilmovee Shamrocks) and seconded by Vincent Walsh (East Mayo GAA Board).
Amalgamations on the cards
TWO new amalgamations are on the cards following last week’s meeting of Mayo GAA Board.
Letters were submitted to Mayo GAA Board from Pat McGee (Ballycroy) and Susan Calpin (Kiltane) seeking permission for their respective clubs to amalgamate at underage level. They proposed dividing games between Doohoma, Ballycroy and Bangor, and suggested they play under the name St Pat’s and wear orange (the Armagh colours).
Acting Secretary Vincent Neary noted that Mayo already have two clubs with similar names – Naomh Pádraig (a North Mayo amalgamation) and Westport St Patrick’s (the West Mayo side’s official name). Richard Cosgrove (Kiltane) said the clubs were happy to be called St Pat’s Erris (“as distinct from any other St Pat’s”).
“We’ll seek clarification on that,” said Neary, expressing the hope that a name change ‘wouldn’t be a stumbling block’. Cosgrove concurred, and said the Board’s preference for a new name would be taken on board, along with a different colour, given that Naomh Pádraig also wear orange.
Meanwhile, letters from Allan Knox (Burrishoole) and Willie Keaveney (Kilmeena) sought permission for their clubs to amalgamate at minor level under the name St Brendan’s. Both men outlined the small numbers their clubs had at minor level, and no objection was raised.
“Great name choice!” said Brendan Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels) with a smile. In answer to a question from the floor, Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas said which division St Brendan’s play in will be a matter for Bord na nÓg.
Meanwhile, a letter from another St Patrick’s, Seán McCaughey and John Pat Sheridan of the Over-40s football team, said they would be ‘forced to explore other options’ if Mayo GAA Board don’t explain why they’ve been expelled from playing in county competitions.
Paddy McNicholas said the County Board have been told by Croke Park that they can’t accept money from the Over-40s. “They’re not insured, and if they’re not insured, they can’t play,” he concluded.
Date fixed for championship draws
THE draws for the Mayo Senior, Intermediate and Junior Football Championships will take place on Monday, February 25. Mike Connelly, Chairman of the County Competitions Control Committee, announced the new date at last week’s meeting of Mayo GAA Board.
Meanwhile, games in this year’s Mayo Senior Football League will only be ‘starred’ – played without county players – if Mayo win the Connacht title. Mike Connelly said that rounds seven, eight and nine of the league have been designated as ‘starred’ games if required. These games would be played before the All-Ireland quarter-final, semi-final and final, and would cease to be ‘starred’ games if Mayo are knocked out of the championship.
The 2013 Junior Championship will run on the same basis as last year. It had been hoped that a 16-team Junior ‘A’ competition could be put in place this year, but this proposal required unanimous agreement, and Mike Connelly revealed that there had been ‘a couple of objections’. Next year’s Junior ‘A’ Championship will only feature 16 teams after a motion to that effect was passed at Convention in December.
Gumshields now mandatory
CLUBS are responsible for ensuring all their underage players wear gumshields, Mayo referees’ co-ordinator Willie Feeley told last week’s County Board meeting.
The Claremorris clubman said that it was unrealistic to expect referees to ‘go around looking’ to check if every player was wearing a gumshield, which is mandatory in Bord na nÓg games since January 1. “But if it’s brought to the referee’s attention, he can deal with it,” added Feeley, who revealed that underage hurlers do not have to wear gumshields as they already don face guards.
Paddy Muldoon warned that given the potential insurance claims, clubs could learn the hard way that ensuring players wear gumshields is their responsibility. He confirmed to Ger McHugh (South Mayo Board) that underage players had to wear gumshields if playing in adult competitions.
Drink problem for clubs?
JOHN Farragher (Garrymore) asked if clubs with bar licences will pay higher insurance premiums than those without. Paddy Muldoon said they will, and the Westport man provoked uproarious laughter when Farragher asked about the difference in premiums between clubs with a bar open every night, and those whose bar opened only on match-days.
“The biggest claim might be from the bar that opens periodically,” the insurance broker replied, before delivering a memorable punchline. “And they don’t have the same experience as the fellas drinking every night!”