Saturday 27 May 2017

Fund-raising drive next up for All-Ireland champions

Dublin manager Pat Gilroy and captain Bryan Cullen lift the Sam Maguire Cup at the 'Homecoming Celebrations' for the All-Ireland SFC winners at Merrion Square
last night
Dublin manager Pat Gilroy and captain Bryan Cullen lift the Sam Maguire Cup at the 'Homecoming Celebrations' for the All-Ireland SFC winners at Merrion Square last night
Dublin's Ger Brennan, flanked by his All-Irelandwinning teammates, including captain Bryan Cullen, left, and Eamon Fennell, right, lifts the Sam Maguire Cup to the rapturous cheers of 35,000 supporters who gathered at Merrion Square, Dublin, last night
Dublin's Denis Bastick and Jody Hannon
Dublin's Craig Dias and Yasmin Mirahmadi
Dublin's Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin are ready to tap into the goodwill their All-Ireland football triumph has generated to clear the bill of almost €2m which the success of their inter-county teams has racked up.

The quest for an All-Ireland success teethered on the brink on Sunday afternoon but the end of a 16-year famine has set aside the disappointment of losing All-Ireland U-21 hurling, minor hurling and minor football championship finals over the previous two weeks.

Preparing those teams has run up a spiralling bill of close to €2m -- up from €1.2m in 2010 -- but Dublin chairman Andy Kettle is adamant that it is now money well spent.

"We are going to have to replenish the coffers but we are in a great position to do that now," Kettle said yesterday.

Dublin are preparing plans to embark on a significant fund-raising drive to help alleviate the high price of success across so many levels.

Of equal concern is the race to get the Dublin championships finished ahead of the start of the Leinster club championships in late October.

Dublin are confident that the hurling championship will be finished in time and are seeking an extension to allow the football champions to play the Meath champions in their first-round tie.

"I'm confident the hurling will be finished in time and the Leinster CCC (Competitions Control Committee) has demanded that we get an extension in football. That has to go before the full Leinster Council. It is not a foregone conclusion but I would like to think that the CCC recommendation will be upheld."

Meanwhile, Pat Gilroy is expected to honour the last year of his term in charge of the team by remaining on as Dublin manager in 2012.

The last All-Ireland winning Dubs manager Pat O'Neill stepped down within a few weeks of the 1995 triumph but Gilroy is expected to be around to spearhead the defence next year.

Whether selectors Mickey Whelan, David Hickey and Paddy O'Donoghue will remain with him remains to be seen. Gilroy sought a one-year extension to his original three-year term after the defeat to Kerry in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final.

Irish Independent

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