Armagh and QUB footballer Ciaran O’Hanlon will go before the Central Appeals Committee tonight in an attempt to have a 12-week suspension handed down by the GAA’s higher education committee overturned.
O’Hanlon was one of three Queens players cited as ineligible by Comhairle Ardoideachais (CA) following their first-round Sigerson Cup win over Maynooth on January 26.
The Armagh forward, along with Greg McCabe and Down’s Marty Clarke, were served with proposed 12-week suspensions by CA on the grounds they were students of Stranmillis, a teacher training branch of QUB, and therefore not eligible to line out for Queens.
O’Hanlon’s case to the Central Hearings Committee was scheduled for Saturday last at Croke Park, but he did not attend owing to his involvement with the Armagh football team, who were in Division 2 league action at the Athletic Grounds that evening.
McCabe and Clarke were both cleared to play in Thursday’s Sigerson Cup quarter-final away to UL. O’Hanlon, though, is now a doubt following his no show on Saturday.
This is the second successive year where McCabe and O’Hanlon’s eligibility have been brought into disrepute by Comhairle Ardoideachais despite the CAC ruling this time last year Stranmillis students were eligible to play for the university.
A similar ruling was handed down in 2012 and QUB GAA officer Aidan O’Rourke cannot understand why O’Hanlon is again having to prove himself.
“It is absolutely lunacy,” he said. “Hopefully common sense will prevail, as it did last year and as it did in 2012.”
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