Uproar at SFAI meeting as two delegates ordered to leave

A leading schoolboy football official threatened to enlist Gardaí intervention when he was ordered to leave a meeting of all 32 underage leagues in Ireland on Saturday.

Uproar at SFAI meeting as two delegates ordered to leave

Tony Gains, secretary of the second biggest in Ireland, the North Dublin SL, was attending the Schoolboy FAI (SFAI) council meeting at the Red Cow Hotel when he became embroiled in a heated argument with the SFAI Chairman, Michael O’Brien.

The SFAI is the biggest affiliate under the auspices of the FAI, and represents leagues all over Ireland.

When Gains and his NDSL colleague Damien Carroll refused the request of O’Brien to leave the meeting, hotel security were called.

Mr Gains and Mr Carroll both told the hotel staff member that, as members of the SFAI, they were entitled to stay put.

After Mr Gains shouted that Gardaí would be called, the SFAI Chairman threatened to abandon the meeting. At this point, other delegates pointed to the long distances travelled to attend the quarterly meeting as reason to continue the meeting.

A proposal by the FAI representative, Terry McAuley, that the meeting be allowed resume pending agreement from the NDSL to desist from challenging the top table was passed. Mr Gains said yesterday: “I have a democratic right as an elected member of my league to represent the NDSL at SFAI meetings. Whatever it took to preserve that right, up to calling in the authorities, I was prepared to do.”

SFAI Chairman Mr O’Brien was unavailable for comment last night.

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