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Clanna Gael lose Dublin County Board appeal and 'paid a price for playing safe'

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Clanna Gael Fontenoy

Clanna Gael Fontenoy

Clanna Gael Fontenoy

Clanna Gael Fontenoy have claimed their junior hurlers "unfairly paid a price for playing it safe" after the Dublin county board rejected their appeals for a fixture postponement because of Covid-19 concerns.

In a statement issued to Independent.ie, the club said it was "very disappointed" at the board's decision.

Clanns had requested a deferral of their Dublin JHC 'A' quarter-final against Ballyboden St Enda's, fixed for last Sunday, having discovered on Friday that one of the Boden players had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Having failed to fulfil the fixture, the Ringsend outfit were deemed to have forfeited the game. They were hoping that the Dublin CCC would look favourably on their case this week, but they have now learned that a retrospective deferral has not been granted.

The club said they were unable to fulfil the fixture because of the "understandable, genuine public health concerns of our players", which stemmed from the following:

  • One of the Ballyboden St Endas players tested positive for Covid-19 on Wed 19th August- just days before the game.
  • That player had trained fully with the squad as recently as Sunday 16th - just seven days before the date (23rd) for which the game was scheduled.
  • Clanns team management and players only became aware of this matter on Friday 21st - initially through a media report. Player concerns immediately arose about the implications of the positive test result and the very short timeline involved of approximately 36 hours to gather the facts and consider the risks and implications.
  • A series of contacts followed immediately with Ballyboden St Enda's and the Dublin county board both to gather the facts and related information and to discuss deferring the fixture on grounds of the health and safety of players and wider public.
  • Clannna Gael claim that "while Ballyboden were amenable to a deferral, the county board was not."

Both were advised that, due to player and team management concerns, Clanns felt unable to fulfill the fixture; and formally submitted the case for deferral to the board.

"Given the particular circumstances of this case, including the short time frame for consideration, our players had real and understandable concerns for their safety and health and that of their families and communities," stated Clanns chairman Bernard Barron.

"As a result, we simply sought a deferral of the fixture to a later date to allow a longer period of time to elapse after the infected player's last point of contact with his fellow Ballyboden players. This would have been in line with the deferral of matches involving other Dublin clubs due to Covid-19 concerns."

Barron added: "Our players daily face a level of Covid-19 related risk in the lives they lead and the work they do; and they knowingly accept a level of risk in order to continue playing the game of hurling. They continuously balance their desire to play with that risk.

"However, their judgement, supported by the club, was that in this particular instance that level of risk should have been further ameliorated by deferring the fixture for a short period of time.

"We believe this would have been in the interests not just of all players and team officials involved, but their wider contacts and communities.

"We very much regret that the Dublin county board didn't see things this way; and our players consider they've unfairly paid a price for playing it safe," the chairman concluded.