“I’d Like Them To Come And See How I Get Through Everyday Life”

Paul Dillon, the man for whom Naomh Colmcille are being sanctioned for by the GAA after the organisation of an ‘unauthorised tournament’ has described the fall out as a ‘disgrace and a shock’.

Naomh Colmcille were hit with a ban prohibiting their adult teams from fielding for two months after one of their pitches was used in a fundraising capacity for the man who was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

On Tuesday, Pundit Arena spoke to Paul Canning, the local councillor tasked with the organisation of a number of events which raised €85,000 in total and will see an extension built onto the back of Mr Dillon’s house to help him with his everyday needs.

“It’s very petty to punish Naomh Colmcille over this as they had absolutely nothing to do with the organisation of it. This was nothing more than a community banding together and showing some compassion. We were trying to promote community spirit,” Canning told Pundit Arena.

Donegal GAA contacted Pundit Arena on Wednesday confirming that an investigation had begun but that Naomh Colmcille aren’t currently suspended.

In a statement released by the county board, they said: “In clarification, the club is not currently suspended but the findings of an investigation has recommended suspension for 8 weeks – this is the minimum period of suspension for holding an un-authorized tournament. Due process shall take place and CLG Naomh Colmcille have the right to prove these findings incorrect or misapplied.”

Paul Dillon appeared on RTÉ Radio 1’s Today programme where he pleaded for the GAA to show a bit of common sense and called upon the person who reported the club to consider his predicament.

“I just think it’s a total disgrace and a shock,” he told Miriam O’Callaghan.

“This ban should be overturned for the sake of the players and the whole community, the hard work they’ve put into this fundraising for me.

“I was involved with Naomh Colmcille for about 15 years. I played with them and I managed underage teams for a long time there. Some of the senior players on the team now that’s talked about being banned, I’d have coached them when they were Under-12s.

“A bunch of lads I’d have run about with all my life decided to come together and raise some money so the home could be made wheelchair accessible. The pitch it was played on, it was a local soccer pitch. The GAA have it leased. But it is the parish grounds as well.

“I’d just like a bit of common sense to prevail. I know rules are rules but in situations like this, surely they can slide the rules in some way.

“I’m not too bad at the minute, I’m in good form and trying to stay positive every day. It gave me and my family a whole lift. It was so overwhelming, how much effort was put into it by the community.

“Whoever reported this, I’d like them to come and see how I get through everyday life at the minute. Maybe they’d change their mind on this thing.”

Read More About: , ,