Kerry club player hit with 48-week ban after playing illegally for a British team during a sevens tournament 7 years ago

Kerry club player hit with 48-week ban after playing illegally for a British team during a sevens tournament

This seems just a little bit harsh, especially when you consider the circumstances.

The Kerryman newspaper are reporting today that Joe McGillicuddy of Kerry club Glenbeigh/Glencar has been hit with a 48-week ban arising out of his participation in the St. Jude’s sevens tournament on the weekend of the All-Ireland Final.

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McGillicuddy, who lives and works in Leicester in the UK but had been commuting home to play for Glenbeigh/Glencar this season, played with the Leicester-based Naomh Padraig side in the sevens tournament despite being registered with Glenbeigh/Glencar as he wasn’t aware that it was an officially sanctioned GAA competition.

Fearing that McGillicuddy’s involvement in the competition might result in a sanction for the club, officials from Glenbeigh/Glencar decided to inform the Kerry county committee of McGillicuddy’s predicament.

Speaking to The Kerryman, club chairman Aidan Roche said: “We decided to be totally honest and up front about the situation once we found out because we didn’t want it to cost the club further down the line should we progress in competitions and Joe having played for us in them.

“We’re very disappointed for Joe personally but we will just have to let the matter lie for the moment until we see how the coming weeks pan out for the club.”

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McGillicuddy’s case was heard at Croke Park last Thursday night, where he was handed a 48-week ban, which will prevent him from being involved in Glenbeigh/Glencar’s upcoming Kerry Junior Championship semi-final against Brosna and any potential games in the county, provincial or All-Ireland club championships beyond that should the club make it that far.

A subsequent appeal to the GAA’s Central Appeals Committee proved unsuccessful, so McGillicuddy’s only hope now lies in the ‘Reinstatement Rule’, which allows a player who has served a period of suspension to ask for the matter to be revisited on the basis that hardship has been suffered in terms of missing out on games or on honours for his club during the ban.

Considering that McGillicuddy claimed he wasn’t aware that he was contravening any rules, it appears like a particularly harsh punishment and McGillicuddy’s clubmate, Kerry forward Darran O’Sullivan, certainly wasn’t impressed when expressing his opinion on the matter on Twitter earlier today.

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