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'Cha' for Dubs rumours look wide of mark

SPECULATION linking three-time hurling All Star, James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick with an intercounty move to Dublin look wide of the mark.

The 26-year-old Ballyhale Shamrock's star yesterday announced his retirement from intercounty action prompting rumours that he could be set to offer his services to Anthony Daly's Dubs as he lives and teaches in the capital.

However, Fitzpatrick's plans are to go travelling during next summer while Dublin implement a policy that no hurler or footballer playing with a club outside the county is considered for intercounty action.

"I haven't been able to nail down a place for a while, and as I don't think I am getting any faster, it is time to go," said Fitzpatrick of his decision to end his days in black and amber.

"No matter what I did in training last year, no matter how well I played, it didn't seem I was going to get a go at all.

"If I was to go back next year I'd find the motivation very hard because deep down I felt inside no matter what I did in training it didn't seem I was going to get picked."

Kilkenny hurlers such as Eamonn Morrissey and James 'Shiner' Brennan both hurled with the Dubs in the 1990s but both had switched club allegiance to O'Toole's in Dublin at that stage.

Fitzpatrick's intention is to remain hurling with Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Rebels sure Páirc will be at capacity

CORK County Board officials have moved to allay fears that the capacity of Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be dramatically reduced for next summer's Championship action.

Rebel chiefs are confident that their main ground will be close to it's capacity of 43,000 by next summer following improvement work for health and safety reasons.

The preliminary findings of a health and safety audit on all intercounty grounds has led to a series of recommendations for each county board to carry out - failure to do will lead to a dramatic reduction in capacity.

"We don't see a problem. We're disappointed that the focus has been on us when we know that other grounds have had very extensive lists too to work through," said Cork PRO Ger Lane.

"Many of the measures we have to address are small and very achievable between now and June. We'd be very confident that the Páirc will be back to its capacity, or close to it, for those games."