Thursday 29 September 2016

West's awake as Rossies revolt over border plan

Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30

Club, county and provincial boundaries have always been sacredly guarded in the GAA, which is why a government proposal to cede part of south Roscommon into Westmeath is meeting with such opposition west of the Shannon (Stock picture)
Club, county and provincial boundaries have always been sacredly guarded in the GAA, which is why a government proposal to cede part of south Roscommon into Westmeath is meeting with such opposition west of the Shannon (Stock picture)

I recall the late Dr Garret FitzGerald once explaining how, as a young politician, he thought it would be a good idea for local government purposes to re-draw county boundaries so as to have them all around the same size.

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Colleagues were less enthused, pointing out various complications, including what Fitzgerald accepted was a killer argument: 'who's going to tell the GAA?' The idea was scrapped.

Club, county and provincial boundaries have always been sacredly guarded in the GAA, which is why a government proposal to cede part of south Roscommon into Westmeath is meeting with such opposition west of the Shannon. Two very successful Roscommon clubs, St Brigid's and Clan na nGael, cater for the area earmarked for Westmeath addresses and while there's no suggestion at present that either would be forced to switch to the east, it's still causing angst.

Plus, of course, there's a fear that if a new club were formed in the future, it could be forced into Westmeath.

The designers of the latest plan obviously never heard of Garret's experience all those years ago. They can expect the same result.

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