Kerry footballers take GAA to High Court

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Updated: June 29, 2011

Two young Kerry footballers have taken the GAA to court, as they have been refused permission to play with the club they want. The organisation insist that the players must line out with their local parish side instead.

Padraic O’Sullivan, aged 14, and Colin, aged 8, have taken their case to the High Court, as they want to play with Listry GAA Club. However, as they live in the parish of Firies, the Kerry County Board insist they must play for Ballyhar-Firies.

Their mother, Christine O’Sullivan, is seeking an injunction restraining the secretary of the county board, Peter Twiss, from preventing or restricting them from playing for Listry. They are seeking declarations including that the failure to exempt them from rule 20 of the GAA by laws, governing playing for one’s parish, is in breach of their right to freedom of association under the Constitution (Article 40.6.1).

Ercus Stewart, the family solicitor said if the boys are not allowed play for Listry they may give up the game.

“They may be technically from Firies, but their hearts and souls are in Listry.”

Christine O’Sullivan added that her sons had no real connection with Firies and they did not even attend school there. The court heard the family previously brought High Court proceedings in 2009. In that instance the case was referred to the GAA’s Disputes Resolution Authority. However, it was then sent back to the board and no agreement was reached.

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