Johnston’s Kildare transfer set for another stumbling block

A motion which may be seen as a response to the recent Seanie Johnston transfer saga will come before Congress in Portlaoise next month.

The proposal is endorsed by Central Council but comes from the rulesadvisory committee and states that a player can only be eligible to represent a county if he has played in thatcounty’s club championship in theprevious or current year.

Johnston’s hopes of switching counties from Cavan to Kildare have been currently blocked by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC). The forward, who could yet take his case to the Disputes Resolution Authority, has yet to play for his would-be Kildare club St Kevin’s, although he has trained with them. Punishment for a player failing to follow the new criteria will be a 48-week suspension, while any team found to have fielded the player could see them forfeit a game.

Johnston doesn’t appear to have convinced the CCCC that he is permanently living in Straffan, Co Kildare, as he has stated.

Under another Central Council-endorsed motion, permanent residence would now be defined as “the domestic property where the council or committee assessing the question considers his principal private residence to have been for at least the ensuing year”.

In Johnston’s case, that would refer to the place of his “actual overnight presence”.

Meanwhile, there are also separate motions to change the time and venue of forthcoming Congresses. Motion 17, a proposal backed by Central Council, calls for the annual convention to be held prior to March 1, which would be a departure from its regular mid-April date. While motion 20, also a recommendation from the Congress review committee report, calls for Congress to be held in Croke Park in 2014 onwards except under exceptional circumstances. Congress has generally moved from county to county with it traditionally being held in the county of the incoming president every third year, as it is for Liam O’Neill in Laois next month and Christy Cooney in Cork in 2009.

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