The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) have yet to grant the Cavan native’s request to move to St Kevin’s in his attempt to line out for Kildare in this year’s Championship.
The Central Appeals Committee (CAC) sent the case back to the CCCC. The CAC upheld Johnston’s appeal on Wednesday night against the CCCC’s decision to refuse it last week.
Five months after his original request and two months since his second application, the CAC ruled neither Cavan Gaels nor the Cavan County Committee had objected to the switch within the 10-day time limit outlined in the GAA’s Official Guide. It is understood the characterisation of what constituted an objection was the reason why Johnston’s case was with the CCCC so long.
Last month, Cavan Gaels were reported to have raised a concern about Cavan town schoolteacher Johnston’s permanent residency in Kildare. He is currently living in Straffan while working in Breifne College in Cavan. However, the player was yesterday sent best wishes on Cavan Gaels’ Twitter account.
The CCCC ruled against Johnston’s application on the basis of residency and ethical grounds. If given the green light by the CCCC this weekend, Johnston could play for his new club in their next league game on Sunday.
Bizarrely, there have been suggestions that he could play for St Kevin’s affiliated hurling club Coill Dubh at the end of next month in order to be eligible for Kildare later in the Leinster Championship, should they beat Offaly in their provincial quarter-final on June 17.
“It’s pure speculation at the moment,” said St Kevin’s vice-chairman John Noone about the hurling possibility. “Our immediate thing was to get a transfer through and Seánie available to us.”
Believing the saga to be at an end, Kildare selector Niall Carew said: “I’m delighted for Seánie. He stuck with it and he and his family have been through a lot.”
Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney confirmed Johnston was training with the panel.