Following an incident at a recent U17 Club football semi-final, Castlebar Mitchels believe that there were reasonable grounds for concern relating to child abuse. Castlebar Mitchels prepared a ‘Reported Allegation of Abuse Form’ and this has been submitted to the Mayo County Board, Connacht GAA, Croke Park and TUSLA.
Following on from the abandoned game Castlebar Mitchels were fined €250 for failure to apply for permission to video the game. The fine was not appealed and has since been paid. Mayo County Board CCC fined Westport €1000, the Westport official who entered the field received a 96 week ban and the club was removed from the competition. Westport appealed this decision to the Appeals Hearing Mayo GAA and following on from the appeal it was announced that they have been reinstated to the competition and the 96-week ban has been reduced to 2 games.
Castlebar Mitchels is very disappointed with the recent appeal findings and believe that this is not in keeping with the best interests of child-welfare.
The club has requested that Mayo GAA does not resume the Under 17A Championship until all investigations are completed.
The club also requests that Croke Park and the County Board review their current processes and regulations so that they adequately protect underage players and that if an incident like this happens again that it is harshly dealt with.
Castlebar Mitchels would like to compliment the management and players of their under 17 team for their patience and forbearance while this issue is being resolved. The club would also like to thank the parents and to acknowledge the support from the wider community, in what they say is the face of untrue and hostile commentary on social media.