Donegal boss Jim McGuinness avoids suspension over fielding Roarty

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness. Pictures Oliver McVeigh

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness will not have to serve an eight-game suspension after a successful hearing against the proposed ban.

The Glenties man was under the spotlight after fielding Finbarr Roarty against Armagh in the McKenna Cup opener, apparently before his young club-mate’s 18th birthday. That meant Roarty should not play senior football, so that technical breach brought a proposed ban for the county manager for selecting him.

However, the Ulster Hearings Committee found that the infraction was not proven.

It is understood that Donegal’s case questioned why McGuinness would be held responsible, with the rule unclear; there’s an argument that the county secretary actually selects the players.

Donegal likely to ask for leniency over Jim McGuinness’s eight-week ban after playing underage player in senior tie

Donegal issued a short statement, saying: “Following a request by Jim McGuinness to the Ulster Hearings Committee, the County Secretary has been informed that the alleged infraction was not proven, and that no further disciplinary action is to be taken.

“We can now look forward to our McKenna Cup semi-final against Monaghan on Sunday.”

Donegal were docked the two points earned in that first match against Armagh but still topped their section on scoring difference after also defeating Tyrone in their second outing because the points were not awarded to the Orchardmen.

Armagh had up until 6.30pm on Saturday evening to lodge an objection – but didn’t take up this option – which means the game with Donegal, which they lost by 16 points, was deemed null and void and no points were retrospectively awarded to the Orchard men.