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Galway club's fate in balance

The fUTURE of the Michael Breathnach club in this year's Galway SF championship is in the balance after a Connacht Council ruling on their appeal was issued yesterday.

The appeal, which was heard on Monday night, has been upheld on a series of technicalities relating to rule 7.11 of the Official Guide, which covers 'rights of appeal'.

However, the Connacht Council have recommended the case go back to Galway CCC (Competitions Control Committee), who made the original decision to eject the club from the championship for playing an illegal player. The decision was being studied by both the Galway County Board, who have sought clarity on the issue, and the Michael Breathnach club, who are angry the case is not being thrown out altogether.

Michael Breathnach were put out of the Galway SFC two weeks ago following an objection by the Mountbellew-Moylough club. The sides met in the first round of this year's championship and Breathnachs came out on top by 1-11 to 0-12.

However, Mountbellew-Moylough claimed that the Breathnach club played an illegal player in the match when Tommy Conneely was introduced as a substitute.

Conneely plays club football with Michael Breathnach with permission from the county board -- he lives in nearby Camus, which is the catchment area of Na Piarsaigh.

Mountbellew-Moylough felt that such special permission didn't cover adult level and their objection was upheld by the Galway CCC. That decision effectively meant that Michael Breathnach had to be thrown out of the championship.

If the Galway CCC are obliged to reconsider the original objection, it could potentially be back before the Connacht Council once more, with representatives from the Michael Breathnach club resolved to taking their case to the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) and beyond if they have to.

Irish Independent