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Queen's bans cast doubts on showdown with Limerick

By John Campbell

Published 11/02/2016

Make stand: James McCartan aims to have ban overturned
Make stand: James McCartan aims to have ban overturned

Queen's University arrived in Limerick for the important Sigerson Cup quarter-final against the University of Limerick still uncertain if the match would take place.

It had been expected that proposed 12-week suspensions imposed on manager James McCartan and key forward Ciaron O'Hanlon as well as club chairman Mickey Cunningham by the Higher Education Council would have been rescinded on appeal on Tuesday night but instead the bans were upheld.

Now Queen's have invoked the Disputes Resolution Authority in a bid to gain an eleventh-hour reprieve.

The punishments were initially meted out when it was deemed that O'Hanlon - along with Martin Clarke and Gregory McCabe - was ineligible for the game against Maynooth last week.

Those punishments were all overturned by the Central Hearings Committee at the weekend, while McCabe was also exonerated. But Clarke, McCartan and O'Hanlon didn't attend the hearing.

McCabe's proposed ban was not upheld while Clarke's case was adjourned because of a medical issue.

O'Hanlon and McCartan subsequently were slapped further 12-week bans by the Central Hearings Committee on Saturday when they failed to attend a hearing in relation to their original suspensions.

Queen's Director of Football Aidan O'Rourke said: "We're very disappointed that one of our players and two officials still stand suspended despite having been cleared of all initial charges. We are hopeful that the game will go ahead in the light of a full Disputes Resolution Authority hearing to take place in the future."

Having beaten Maynooth, Queen's remain hopeful that they can make into the semi-finals today but in Limerick they face a side that is imbued with considerable strength.

Clarke impressed against Maynooth alongside Fermanagh's Ruairi Corrigan and they are key figures in a gifted squad.

Belfast Telegraph

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