Donegal manager Declan Bonner
Donegal’s refusal to field in Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup semi-final against Monaghan was expected to be discussed at last night’s monthly meeting of Donegal County Committee.
The meeting, however, was postponed due to the bad weather.
The controversy has generated much debate and opinion among supporters and GAA pundits since it emerged on Thursday evening that Donegal would not be fulfilling the fixture.
Donegal manager Declan Bonner confirmed shortly before tea-time on Thursday evening that due to an unavailability of players because of sickness and a clash with Sigerson Cup fixtures, his team would not be in a position to field in Sunday’s semi-final in Enniskillen.
Later on Thursday evening, the Donegal County Board issued a statement on the matter too.
Whether or not Donegal will face sanctions as a result of their stance remains to be seen.
One man who has sympathy for Declan Bonner’s situation is former Dublin player Paddy Christie.
The former All-Star defender is now manager of DCU’s Sigerson Cup team which featured Donegal players Brendan McCole and Conor Morrison on Sunday.
Christie wonders if the time has come to do away with competitions like the O’Byrne Cup and the McKenna Cup.
“But putting them on at the same time, or at roughly the same time leaves us (GAA managers) in a very difficult position,” he said.
“I think the GAA could look at it, and if they value college competitions they should give them a window where these games are not on.
“From a point of view of anyone trying to manage the set-up, it’s nearly impossible.”
Christie said he had sympathy for Declan Bonner’s position at the weekend.
“It’s not his fault or my fault or anyone else’s,” he said.
“The GAA have to have a look at it. When they put together the fixtures and they decided they were going to run off the Sigerson in January, surely to God somebody spotted that the McKenna Cup and the O’Byrne Cup and the McGrath Cup in Munster were all on and there would be an overlap there.
“We had Conor Morrison and Brendan McCole playing on Wednesday night for Donegal (against Derry) and you’re looking at the Twitter page and hoping that neither of them are taken off early with an injury,” said Christie.
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