Ulster Council probe into eligibility of Donegal player in Dr. McKenna Cup

Ulster GAA is conducting an investigation into the eligibility of Donegal footballer Finbarr Roarty in Wednesday’s McKenna Cup win  over Armagh at MacCumhaill Park.

The Irish Examiner has reported that it has received confirmation from the provincial council that their competitions control committee is actively exploring the potential issue regarding the age of the Naomh Conaill defender, raising concerns about whether he may have been underage and ineligible to participate in the game.

It has been reported that Roarty turned 18 yesterday and is understood to have become the first player ever to line out for the Donegal seniors before making his senior club debut.

But according to the rulebook, Roarty is ineligible to play Allianz Football League or senior championship football in 2024 since he did not reach the age of 18 in 2023.

Back in  2018 Derry’s Callum Brown was removed from a McKenna Cup squad for being 17 at the time.

As of 2016, players must have celebrated their 18th birthday before January 1 of the championship year to qualify for senior inter-county competitions.

It could well be that Roarty may have fallen short of this requirement by just a few day days.

If the Ulster Council finds against Donegal then the senior team could face penalties outlined in the rulebook.

These include the possible forfeiture of the game without awarding it to the opposing team, a potential two-week ban for the player involved, and there is also a provision for up to an eight-week suspension for the responsible individuals.