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Kettle defends Dubs bid for provincial status

THE Dublin County Board is not "flying kites" by seeking to attain provincial status, according to chairman Andy Kettle.

The capital's top elected official also claimed that their proposal would be "cost neutral" and might even deliver a financial benefit to some of their fellow Leinster counties.

Kettle was reacting to comments from GAA president, Christy Cooney, who this week delivered a lukewarm response to Dublin calls for provincial status in relation to increased funding and a permanent place on the GAA's management committee for its county board chairman. The proposal was contained in Dublin GAA's 'Blue Wave' strategic plan for 2011-17.

While Cooney has deferred judgement until he hears Dublin's argument, he wanted to know why they expect provincial status and how this would affect the other stakeholders in Leinster, adding: "It's our capital city with a population of one-and-a-half million, but that doesn't mean that everything in their plan is deliverable or is the right thing to do."

It could be January before Dublin get to make their case to Croke Park, but Kettle insisted they are serious about their claims for provincial status.


"That particular item wasn't just put there as a kite to fly," he said. "We do have proposals and we will be going to Croke Park with them. They will obviously take on board the argument -- we feel that we can justify our argument.

"The main trust of (the GAA) being against it, I would feel, is probably financial. But we would see it as being cost neutral," Kettle argued.

"Extra money generated by successful Dublin teams -- not necessarily successful at All-Ireland level but reaching the latter end of the All-Ireland championships in both hurling and football -- would generate extra revenue for the organisation, which again would be divided out among the counties.

"So perhaps they might do a little bit better than they are doing at present, from a financial point of view," he added.