In The Irish News on Mar 20 1997: Fall-out from New York football final to hit GAA's Congress in Dublin

GETTING TO GRIPS.......Gerard McAuley of St Peter’s and Kevin Robinson of Our Lady of Lourdes tussle for the ball during yesterday’s Raffo Cup final at Casement Park, see report below

THE fall-out from last year’s New York football final and worries over professionalism are reflected in a number of motions to be debated at the GAA’s Congress in Dublin next month.

New York itself has put forward two motions relating to the transatlantic player traffic issue.

The New York Board say that a “player whose home club is in Ireland but has established at least 12 consecutive months permanent residence in the area controlled by the New York Board may play with his home club if he so desires”.

A motion from Clare says that American clubs should only be permitted to draft in three players on any given weekend.

Over two-thirds of those who lined out in the New York final replay in November were not regulars members of the clubs involved.

On the issue of creeping professionalism, a motion from Kilkenny says that players should only be able to sign contracts with agents officially sanctioned by Central Council.

A number of high-profile stars are currently being represented by Kevin Moran’s sports management company.

Another motion from Clare, while re-affirming that the GAA is an amateur association, says that players should be allowed to “formally endorse products/merchandise and accept remuneration for same”.


ST PETER’S yesterday took on the odds and holders Our Lady of Lourdes Park Lodge, to lift the Church and General Raffo Cup for the first time in history.

Despite a low scoring affair the game provided all the excitement and drama of a typical Cumann Na mBunscoil Raffo Cup final.

St Peter’s, managed by Derry senior football star Seamus Downey, would not have won this Primary seven competition, had the odds staked against them been heeded.

As B League representatives playing in an A League dominated finale, St Peter’s got the scoring under way with a breeze at their backs in the first half. Damien Largey and Matt Mulholland got the all important strikes, two first half goals.

The holders got a grip on the game with a goal from Stephen Devine and a point from Patrick Hamilton, to leave St Peter’s with a two-point lead at the break.

In the second half just two points were claimed, one apiece, Sean McGivern pointing for St Peter’s while Matthew McCanny scored for Our Lady’s.

But despite an onslaught on the St Peter’s defence in the second half, the west Belfast school held out. Our Lady’s players do not finish the season empty-handed though.

They head for secondary education as winners of the A League title.


SHELBOURNE'S Stephen Geoghegan is the surprise inclusion in a 20-man Republic of Ireland squad for the crucial Group 8 World Cup qualifying tie against Macedonia in Skopje on April 2.

Manager Mick McCarthy had no hesitation including Geoghegan in his final selection, especially with Sunderland’s Niall Quinn, David Connolly of Watford and Norwich’s Keith O’Neill all ruled out by injuries.

Geoghegan (26) has impressed McCarthy in representative games playing for the FAI National League and, a Republic B side earlier this month.

“The lad is there on merit. He fully deserves his inclusion. Stephen is capable of holding the ball up and can score goals,” said McCarthy.


JASON Sherlock has alleged he was spat at a by a Dublin county official while he watched Saturday’s controversial U21 Leinster Championship Football tie between the Metropolitans and Offaly writes John Haughey.

The U21 clash at Parnell Park was marred by a lengthy brawl which led to three players being sent off by referee Frank Tooher.

The length of the disturbances, which also apparently involved at least one Dublin team official, was indicated by referee Tooher reportedly playing close to 15 minutes of injury time.

The star is understood to have sent a letter of complaint to the Dublin county board.


WORLD War Three is about to begin in Draperstown on Saturday night.

That’s how club secretary Jim Noonan describes the long-awaited return match between local light heavyweight Gerard Mulligan and Dungannon’s Raymond Ferguson.

Both men were on the canvas the last time they met and this big-hitting encounter gains top billing on the club’s 12-bout promotion at the St Colm’s GAA complex in Draperstown on Saturday.

Tall, teenage light welter Michael Regan has generated considerable local interest but could have his hands full when he meets Tony O’Neill (Mark Heagney ABC

Other matches for the St Colm’s fight night include: Sean Caulfield v Ryan Teague (Dromore); Paul McGrath v Steven Matheson (Randalstown); Martin McKenna v Jim McKeague (Errigal); Seamus Costello v Owen Biggs (St Canice’s); Sean Kelly v Martin Bradley (St Canice’s), Chris Mulligan v Des McCusker (St Canice’s), Aiden Kelly v Paul Leonard (St Canice’s).

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