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Players issue plea to Joey's/OCB executive to lift ban


Stock photo: Sportsfile

Stock photo: Sportsfile

Stock photo: Sportsfile

St. Joseph's/O'Connell's Boys adult football team have issued a plea to their own club executive to reinstate them after they were withdrawn from competitions over a dispute between the committee and the team.

The executive of the Fairview Park club, who play in Division 11 North of the Dublin AFL, took the decision to effectively suspend their own football team over what they consider breaches of the club's constitution and refusal to co-operate with the executive.

Last month, a long-serving member of the executive retired from his position following an investigation by the club's committee about messages which were "damaging to the club" that had appeared on social media.

Subsequently, John Archbold was terminated from his role as the team's manager.

In a correspondence from the club, Mr Archbold was informed the decision was due to his "persistent disruptive behaviour and conduct," which had "damaged the ability of the Executive Committee to carry out its role...by interfering in communications between the officers and the players and promoting a campaign of slander and mistruths against the Executive Committee."

Various issues between the team and the committee were due to come to a head at the club's AGM, which was cancelled to due COVID-19. This has led to increased tension between the executive and the players.

Officers at the club took exception to being excluded from a WhatsApp group set up by the team.

They also objected to players entering the club's premises during lock-down to remove gym equipment.

A statement from the players said: "We believe as a Playing Squad that this decision is extremely unfair to us.

"We call on the Committee to reverse this decision immediately."

They also requested that members of the committee and management team "engage in independent mediation to resolve" their issues "with a view to furthering the aims of the club and the association."

John Wright, the club's President, told the Herald that St Joseph's/O'Connell's Boys would be "entering a team when we are happy that the team will abide by the constitution of the club and the rules of the GAA."

He added: "We will be restoring our own WhatsApp and appointing our own manager."

A separate statement from the outgoing management team of John Archbold, Stephen Foran and Peter Lowry, said they were "very disappointed" with the "committee's unfortunate decision."

"This disappointment is further compounded by being denied the opportunity to defend against these allegations at a hearing or appeal."

In the correspondence from the club, Archbold was informed that he was not entitled to any hearing as he was not a member of the club and had not paid a subscription to St Joseph's/O'Connell's Boys since 2004.