Padden throws his hat into the ring


The former Mayo All-Ireland midfielder, Willie Joe Padden, is to contest the chairmanship of the Mayo county board at its a.g.m. in December. Padden, from Belmullet, played with Mayo for more than a decade in the 1970s and 80s and figured on the Mayo team beaten by Cork in the 1989 All-Ireland final.

It is quite unusual for a player of such recent vintage to contest the chairmanship, but Padden says he feels that players should always be willing to put something back into the game when their playing days are over.

Three other prominent GAA figures are contesting the chairmanship. They are the former AllIreland referee P J McGrath from the Kilmaine club, Paddy Naughton from Knockmore, who is a member of the Connacht Council, and Hugh Rudden from Ballyhaunis, a former county selector. The outgoing chairman, Fr Noel Forde, is stepping down, but is running instead as a Connacht Council delegate.

It has now emerged that the sequence of events which has led to the suspension of five Roscommon players was brought about by the implementation of a local rule in Boston which limits the number of "imported players" allowed to play to three. The purpose of the rule is to encourage local players who might otherwise not play the game at all.

It states that players normally based in Ireland must have arrived in Boston before April 1st in any year. Each registered player before that date is issued with an ID card bearing a photograph and a signature. Only three players who do not hold these cards are allowed to play.

It is understood that the players who have been suspended by the North American Board played without these official cards or used cards which did not match up. Suspicions arose when the Galway club which had previously been well beaten improved beyond all recognition when they played Connemara Gaels and an investigation ensued.

The match between the Galway club and Connemara Gaels was played last July and led to an objection about the legality of the status of the players and this drew the attention of the North American Board to the breach of the rules and the suspensions followed.

It is now understood that an appeal against the one-year suspensions handed out to the offending players is to be lodged with the Central Council. The players, who are all reported to be back in Ireland, could also appeal to the so-called `mercy committee' which meets once a year in conjunction with the annual Congress.

The playing focus at the weekend switches to club fare. Clarecastle, who meet Ballygunner from Waterford in the Munster club hurling semi-final, are anxious about the fitness of the Clare captain, Anthony Daly, who injured his back during the county final last week and has been having intensive treatment since. He is reported to have made good progress and says he is confident that he will be fit in time.

Clarecastle's only other injury worry is centre forward Alan Neville who was also injured in the county final, but his rib injury is not thought to be serious.

On the football front, Cork representatives Castlehaven, who take on Kerry side Laune Rangers at Castlehaven, will not be able to call on David O'Regan or Edmund Cleary, both of whom were injured in the replay of the county final last Sunday week.

Tourlestrane welcome back county player and leading scorer Gerry McGowan for the replay of the Connacht club football semifinal against the Leitrim title holders, Allen Gaels, on Sunday at Markievicz Park. McGowan missed the first drawn match because of an injury he suffered in Sligo's surprise defeat of Dublin in the National League.

Eamon O'Hara is fully fit and will play at midfield for the Sligo champions, but there are worries about the fitness of Eamon Walsh and Colm O'Meara. Allen Gaels will again have Adrian Cullen in action, while Noel Moran is expected back after suspension.

Limerick's hurlers travel to New Ross on Sunday with an experimental team to meet Wexford in the Oireachtas tournament. Back into the side for the first time in four years comes John Anthony Moran at left corner forward. With the Patrickswell players unavailable, Eamon Cregan, also calls up Pat Coleman, John Flavin, Alan Browne and John Foley.

The GAA community in Westmeath, which was shocked by the murder of two prominent members of the community recently, has launched a fund-raising drive to help the children of Vincent and Mary Cully. The couple were deeply involved in the Turin hurling club and the St Munna's camogie club near Delvin and a local committee has been set up to organise fund-raising events.

There are also representatives on the committee from the neighbouring GAA clubs, Clonkill and Crookedwood, an indication of the widespread support for the initiative. An account has been opened at the Bank of Ireland, Pearse Street, Mullingar. Donations should be sent to the account which is numbered 25566000, code number 90-18-45.

Limerick (SH v Wexford): A Shanahan; S McDonagh, J Flavin, A Browne; D Clarke, J Foley, P Coleman; M Foley, S O'Neill; T J Ryan, O Moran, M Galligan; J Moran, P Tobin, J A Moran.