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Cavan county board raises doubts about Johnston’s residency

The Seanie Johnston transfer saga looks set to run and run…

Seanie Johnston: the story continues.
Seanie Johnston: the story continues.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

SEANIE JOHNSTON’S PROPOSED inter-county transfer to Kildare snagged again last night when the Cavan county board raised doubts about the forward’s eligibility for a move.

In a statement released last night, Cavan said that they are “unable to assist” with Johnston’s switch to Kildare as “they believe there is a doubt about compliance” with the GAA’s residency criteria for such transfers.

Rule 6.9 of the GAA’s official guide stipulates that “such application shall not be granted unless the player is in permanent residence in the new County.”

Johnston, who insists that he is now permanently resident in Straffan, applied last week for a club transfer from Cavan Gaels to St Kevin’s in Staplestown.

That move was an attempt to progress the transfer saga surrounding his switch to Kildare from Cavan, where he has fallen out of favour with senior football manager Val Andrews.

Johnston’s inter-county transfer, which has previously been rejected by the GAA’s Central Appeals Committee, came up for discussion at the first annual meeting of the Cavan county board’s management committee last night.

A spokesperson for the county board told TheScore.ie this morning that they had received transfer documents signed by Johnston, the Kildare county secretary and St Kevin’s club secretary.

These documents contained no further information or proof of Johnston’s residency beyond an address which, the spokesperson said, is all that the player is obliged to provide at this stage of the process.

“It wasn’t our job to look for that information, but it would have been remiss of us not to note our concerns,” he said.

Under the GAA’s transfer rules (6.10b), the Cavan county board have 10 days from receipt of the documents to raise any objections to the move. Johnson’s request is now likely to revert to the Competitions Control Committee of the Central Council.

“The Cavan county board acknowledge Sean Johnston’s huge contribution to the county’s football team and to his club, Cavan Gaels,” the spokesperson said.

We are disappointed that he feels the need to leave Cavan, but if he proves that he is permanently resident in Kildare and goes on to represent the county at the highest level, we obviously wish him all the best. We have no axes to grind.

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Niall Kelly

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