Axing of Manning?Cup ‘scandalous’?

There is shock, anger and disappointment in County Roscommon at the decision of the CCCC committee in Croke Park to turn down an application by Longford County Board to run the Fr. Manning Cup for 2007.   The 43-year-old inter-county U-16  competition which was played every summer between Roscommon, Longford, Leitrim, Longford, Cavan and Westmeath was one of the best-run competitions on the annual GAA calender and it regularly drew large crowds to the Wednesday night fixtures in the region.   Speaking to The Roscommon People this week the chairman of the Roscommon County Minor Board Mr. Brendan Cregg said he is stunned by the decision.   ‘It’s a scandalous decision. We can’t understand it. Here was a brilliantly-run competition which was of great benefit to U-16 footballers in the region. There are other such competitions going ahead around the country.    ‘There is something very strange going on here and we will be appealing the decision for sure but it’s running very late now for this year. If it doesn’t go ahead this year it will be a shame’ he concluded.   The Longford County Board applied for permission to run this competition to the CCCC but they were stunned when the decision was that they were not allowed to hold the competition. The official word from the CCCC was that ‘it was felt that the conditions for making an exception for this competition was not persuasive enough.’   People columnist and former Roscommon U-16 and minor team manager Tony McManus told the Sunday Independent that he was shocked at the decision not to allow the competition to go ahead.   ‘This will be a serious setback to the development of underage football in this region. Burnout is not a factor at this age and these young lads will simply go off and play rugby and soccer instead’ he said.    All counties involved will appeal seperately to the CCCC but with the competition due to start this week it is likely that the Fr. Manning Cup for 2007 will not be going ahead.    The members of the CCCC committee are:  Jimmy Dunne (Chairman), John Prenty, Michael Delaney, Simon Moroney, Joe O’Shaughnessy, Michael O’Brien, Phonsie Tully, Danny Murphy and Aodain O’Farrell.