The three clubs who had their proposed amalgamation to compete in the Laois senior football championship for 2013 turned down at last Monday night’s county board meeting, have lodged an appeal against the decision.
There was widespread shock last week when it emerged that Laois club delegates had voted against allowing O’Moore’s - a combination of Courtwood, Park-Ratheniska and Annanough - to compete in the 2013 Laois SFC.
The proposal to allow the teams in was put to the floor at last Monday’s meeting, and after much debate, it was defeated on a margin of 19 votes to 15. There was some controversy over the vote when it emerged that all the members of the Executive had abstained.
The three clubs met in the aftermath of the decision and have since lodged their appeal to the Leinster Council, although no exact date for the hearing has been confirmed.
Speaking after last week’s meeting, Laois GAA Chairman Gerry Kavanagh spoke of his disappointment that the amalgamation did not get the required support. “I am disappointed for the clubs who put forward the application, there was a good bit of work gone into it and they had crossed a lot of bridges that needed to be crossed, and I’m very, very sorry for them.”
Kavanagh also admitted to being surprised by the decision of his colleagues on the Laois Executive to abstain from the vote, as all had the right to vote if they chose to. “There was no directive on it (to abstain from voting), I don’t know why it happened.”
Clubs who spoke against the merger on the night were against the idea of adding a seventeenth team to the championship, as it would have affected the current format used for the competition.
A preliminary round would have been added both before the first round proper and the first round of the losers section, and there were concerns those games would have a knock on effect to the running of the rest of the games.
All three clubs have decided not to comment any further on the situation as they await their hearing with the Leinster Council.