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Galway reinstated to top flight

GALWAY United will play in the Airtricity League Premier Division this season after their appeal against demotion to the 'A' Championship was successful.

The Tribesmen were yesterday reinstated to the top flight at the expense of the Monaghan United, who have now twice had their hopes of promotion dashed in heartbreaking fashion. This time it was administrative rather than on-field decisions that cost them after their penalty shootout defeat to Bray Wanderers in the play-off last season.

The westerners had been unable to provide a tax clearance cert before the required deadline, while they still had money due to two footballing creditors. However, they settled their outstanding issues before the appeal and it was confirmed by the FAI yesterday that they had done enough to reclaim their place.

"The Appeals Body acknowledge that the tax affairs of the club were and are in order and it was clear that the club had made attempts to secure the appropriate documentation, but due to exceptional events were unable to provide it on the date required," a statement from Abbotstown read.

Manager Sean Connor now faces a race against time to put together a competitive squad for the new season with the transfer window closing on Tuesday.

Winger Derek O'Brien signed for Cork City yesterday and he joins the core of last year's team -- Barry Ryan, Seamus Conneely, Karl Sheppard, Stephen O'Donnell and Jamie McKensie -- in leaving the club.

The Belfast man has had a small squad in training over the past number of weeks and has signed some amateur players, but the uncertainty over the club's future has limited his options.

"I'm delighted," Connor said. "It's the end of a couple of nervous and frustrating days. I've a budget of €2,000 a week which limits what I can do and I must have spoken to 50 players over the last number of weeks. Even local players who wouldn't sign up while our future was uncertain. We have players there now, hopefully we can sort it out."

Irish Independent