Kelly was part of Clare’s MacCarthy Cup winning panel in 2013 but took advantage last year of a GAA rule allowing him to transfer to a weaker county.
He emerged as one of Kerry’s star players as they followed up their shock promotion to Division 1B of the Allianz League with the Christy Ring Cup title, earning them MacCarthy Cup status.
Those wins, however, brought Kelly into conflict with the GAA’s Official Guide, which states that the transfer is ineligible once the adopted county, Kerry, reaches the same status as the original county. A plea from the Kingdom for the rule to be set aside in this case was successful though and Central Council confirmed the news.
Kelly has returned to Kerry training and is clear to play in their Division 1B opener against Laois on February 14.
“A case was made on compassionate grounds on the basis that Pa Kelly played in Division 2 for Kerry,” said Ger McCarthy, Kerry hurling officer. “It was a common sense result.”
Tipperary trio James Logue, Davy Butler, and John O’Neill also played for Kerry at stages last year under former manager Eamonn Kelly.
“We can continue to use any player we used in the last two seasons,” said McCarthy.”That’s down to Ciaran Carey and the management now.”