Wednesday 21 February 2018

Seanie Johnston: timeline of a transfer

October 2011

Seanie Johnston is informed by then Cavan manager Val Andrews he has not been picked on the county panel for 2012.

December 2011

Johnston applies to Croke Park for an inter-county transfer in order to play for Kildare. This is refused on the grounds that players cannot transfer outside their county unless they are playing their club football in their intended 'new' county.

January 2012

Johnston appeals to the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) but is turned down. Johnston applies for a club transfer, to move from Cavan Gaels to Kildare side St Kevin's (Staplestown). Cavan County Board object, querying whether Johnston actually lives in Staffan as he has declared.


Johnston starts training with St Kevin's and invites those who doubt his residency in Straffan "to come down for a cup of tea, they're more than welcome".


The GAA, having sought rent agreements and utility bills, refuse his transfer request on March 8. Their ruling said that "concerns were expressed that even had permanent residency (in Straffan) been satisfactorily demonstrated, the primary, if not sole, purpose of this residency appeared to be to enable the player to play with a county to which he could claim no obvious allegiance.

"This, in the opinion of the committee, was in itself, contrary to the Association's ethos as outlined in rule."

March 30

Johnston submits a brand new transfer request, saying he believed he could now furnish Croke Park with all the information they previously required.

April 13/14

The GAA introduces a new rule at Congress which stipulates that, before a player can complete an inter-county transfer, he must have played in the local club championship. On April 29, he sits with the Kildare subs during their Division 2 NFL title victory at Croke Park and it is revealed that he is training regularly with them.

May 18

After another series of meetings with a new CCCC (appointed since Congress) Johnston is refused his inter-club transfer a second time, with the CCCC citing Rule 6.9 (Residency) & Rule 6.1 (Ethos).

May 23

Johnston appeals this decision to the CAC and wins on a technicality.

The CAC rule that "there had been no objection by either Cavan Gaels or Cavan County Committee within the 10-day time limit prescribed in the Official Guide." If he wants to play for Kildare (v Offaly) on June 16 he must play a club championship game before then.

Irish Independent

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