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“Naomh Colmcille Had Absolutely Nothing To Do With It”

A Donegal councillor has informed Pundit Arena that Naomh Colmcille had nothing to do with the organisation of an ‘unauthorised tournament’ that has seen the club sanctioned with an eight-week ban.

On Monday it was reported that the club was hit with a ban by the Donegal Competitions Controls Committee (CCC) meaning all adult teams have been suspended for eight weeks and are to forfeit games scheduled within this time period.

Paul Canning is a local councillor in Newtowncanning where Naomh Colmcille GAA club is based. Mr Canning was tasked with chairing a local committee set-up to raise funds for Paul Dillon who was diagnosed with MND in late 2018.

“Newtowncunningham is a small village of around 1500 people. Paul Dillon gave his life and soul to the community including the GAA club. Around Christmas time he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.” Canning told Pundit Arena.

donegal gaa

“I was appointed the chairperson of a group tasked with fundraising so that an extension could be built out the back of Paul’s house to help suit his needs. We were able to raise €85,000 overall that included fun runs, carriage rides, tractor runs and a game of football that was no more than a bit of craic.”

Canning told Pundit Arena that the pitch used to host the game was originally a soccer field that was signed over to Naomh Colmcille and was used mostly for training purposes. However, he was adamant that the club had nothing to do with the organisation of the event.

“The pitch that we used was an old soccer field with an athletics track surrounding it, however, the two clubs haven’t really been operating so the parish signed the lease over to the GAA club.

“We used half the pitch and had a 7-a-side game. It was only a bit of carry-on, a few teams made up of locals coming together for a neighbour. The game had nothing to do with the GAA club.

“There was a GAA match on at the same time and it ended up being called off early, the two teams ended up joining us and helping out. It was all a bit of craic, nothing official. Just a community coming together to help out one of our own who has had their life flipped upside down.”

The local councillor and architect claimed it was very petty to sanction the Donegal club.

“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.

“I’d like to reiterate the point that the GAA club Naomh Colmcille had nothing to do with the organisation of this. It was all down to a community banding together and using the facilities we had available on the day.”

Pundit Arena will bring you more on this story as it unfolds.

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