independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

O'Neill wants players released to provinces

GAA president Liam O'Neill has expressed disappointment that some counties won't make their players available for the inter-provincial series that kicks off this weekend.

Kildare's footballers have been reported as 'unavailable' to Pat Gilroy's Leinster team and while he wouldn't comment on individual cases, O'Neill wants all counties to put their players forward.

O'Neill made the plea at the announcement that all proceeds from the football final, which will be played as a double-header with the All-Ireland club JFC final on February 24, will go to Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin.

"I would be urging all counties in a positive way to support this venture, to send their players at the weekend to play in the competition and support the concept that this is bigger than just whatever reasons people might have for not playing for the province," the Laois man said.

"The fact that we've gone a step outside the box here should, I think, stir the consciences of people to say, 'look, we really should be supporting this'.

"At the moment I've only heard of the one county saying that, but I'd hope that all counties would support their provincial team and that whatever two provinces come to Croke Park for the final will put out their strongest teams so that we can bring people in."

The Kildare camp, who engage in their own charity work and have staged a toy appeal in the run-up to Christmas for many years, could not be reached for comment.

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