GMIT irate at Trench Cup debacle
Galway college ‘extremely disappointed and angry’ over Dundalk IT withdrawal from final
GMIT (Galway Mayo Institute of Technology) have responded strongly to the decision taken by Dundalk IT to withdraw from today's Trench Cup football final on the grounds of player welfare.
The Louth college notified the GAA's Higher Education body on Thursday and a spokesperson for the GMIT players and management has today outlined how ‘extremely disappointed and angry’ the camp is at events that have led to the fixture not going ahead in IT Carlow.
GMIT defeated TUS Midlands (formerly IT Athlone) in Wednesday evening's semi-final at the Connacht GAA Centre in Bekan. Dundalk IT, who are managed by Armagh All-Ireland winner Oisín McConville, qualified with a win over MTU Midwest (formerly Limerick IT) earlier that afternoon.
Dundalk IT subsequently requested that the Trench Cup final be pushed back due to several of their players’ involvement in National Football League matches this weekend. That appeal was rejected and the GAA insisted that the final would proceed as planned today.
"There has been a lot of speculation on social media over the last 24 hours about Dundalk IT's decision to withdraw from today's Trench Cup final - a fixture that our players have trained so hard for all season,” a spokesperson for the GMIT camp told The Tuam Herald.
"Our players are completely deflated after what has happened following our great semi-final win on Wednesday evening and I don’t think it is a true reflection of what happened with regards to Dundalk, and the rest of colleges that took part in the semi-finals would back us up.
"Dundalk IT threatened to pull out before the semi-finals and the other three colleges (GMIT, TUS Midwest and TUS Midlands) gave up the chance of a finals weekend away in Carlow. What every college player aspired to was to get to finals weekend in Carlow.
"The fixtures have been in the national calendar all year and once we qualified for the semi-final stage weeks ago, we booked accommodation for this Friday night in Carlow. Win or lose the semi-final, we would have been staying the night so our players could reflect on the great year that we had as players and management.
"GMIT and the two other colleges agreed that to facilitate Dundalk IT, where we would play semi-finals on Wednesday and the final on Friday - which Dundalk also agreed to.
PLAYERS TRAINED SO HARD
"We knew the minute our semi-final was over that Dundalk were not going to play the final today. We have a great relationship with county managers in Galway, Roscommon, Mayo and all other counties where we have players involved. All players were released to us for the week leading up to the Trench Cup semi-final and final.
"Now our lads don’t get to play in a final they trained so hard for all year for because of an internal issue involving Dundalk IT and access to their inter-county players. It’s so demoralising for us as it was our first final in 26 years.
"We feel our side of the story and that of the other two colleges involved in the semi-finals needs to get out there. Dundalk have held the GAA's Higher Education Board to ransom in the last week over the staging of the Trench Cup semi-finals and final.
"We are extremely disappointed and angry over how it all has unfolded. Through no fault of our own, our players have been denied the chance to play in an All-Ireland final and represent their families, clubs and counties on such an important weekend."