Dublin footballer Diarmuid Connolly will not be making his return to Donegal Boston this summer after being denied entry to the United States last week.
Connolly played for the club last summer, leaving the Dublin panel as he won a Boston SFC but he will not be a part of the squad this year due to a “small problem” with his ESTA holiday visa, the club confirmed.
The 31-year old had no such issues with his ESTA, which is a 90-day holiday visa granted to visitors to the United States, last year but will not be unable to link up with the club this summer.
Connolly’s transfer officially went through last Thursday but J1 sanction rules outline that the player in question must be in the country by the 1st of July deadline in order to be eligible to play.
“Diarmuid had a small problem with his ESTA which Aer Lingus were notified of,” Donegal Boston club chairman Paul Martin McDaid said in a statement.
“The problem is only minor and will hopefully be fixed in the embassy this week. However, our deadline is today, 1 July, so, unfortunately, Diarmuid will not make it over in time.
“Naturally we are all extremely disappointed as Diarmuid had a great impact on our club and Boston GAA both on and off the pitch last year.
“We’ve been made aware of rumours about Diarmuid being refused entry and that is not the case. We hope this clears things up.”
Connolly hasn’t played for his county since leaving the Dublin panel in February of 2018 and will no doubt be a huge loss to Donegal Boston despite their already strong panel ahead of the new season.
Former AFL player Ray Connellan of Westmeath, Tyrone forward Mark Bradley and ex-Laois star Gary Walsh have all joined the club as well as Connolly’s St Vincent’s teammate Shane Carthy.