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DC set to appeal league exclusion

Donegal Celtic chairman Raymond Bonner
Bonner says the decision could be a killer blow to the club

Donegal Celtic chairman Raymond Bonner has indicated that the club will appeal against its exclusion from the Irish FA's new Invitational League.

Bonner said the club is devastated by the decision which saw Bangor and Institute pipping the west Belfast outfit for a place among the 12 teams.

"We'll have to assess our position and see where the points went," he said.

"If there are grounds for an appeal, we'll have to appeal. It's that serious...I fear for Donegal Celtic."

Bonner said that the club's exclusion from the new league was a "body blow for the community in west Belfast".

606: DEBATE

"It's the feelgood factor Donegal Celtic has brought to west Belfast.

"(We reached) The semi-finals of an Irish Cup, we've brought Linfield, Glentoran and all other teams that the people around west Belfast want to see without any trouble at all.

"You ask any Irish League teams where they like to play and it's up at Donegal Celtic Park."

Bonner added that the club had been told by email on Tuesday that they had failed to gain entry into the 12-team league.

"Bangor and Institute have moved above us from last year.

"We had 610 points last year but now with the new criteria, we have only 543.

We've gone through all the obstacles that have been put against us but I think this could be a bridge too far.

Donegal Celtic chairman Raymond Bonner

"We need to know where we've lost the points. Bangor could come from 150 points behind us to 100 in front. They (the authorities) need to show us how this happened."

Bonner added that he had seen "grown men crying" at Donegal Celtic's clubrooms after learning of the news on Tuesday.

"The IFA and the authorities don't realise what this could do to the community.

"If we go out of the senior league, I fear whether there will be the enthusiasm to go through it all again.

"I took Donegal Celtic over in 1989. We were in the Second Division in the Dunmurry League.

"We've gone through all the obstacles that have been put against us but I think this could be a bridge too far.

"This is almost a killer blow to our club."




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