DUBLIN GAA is determined to capitalise on its standout success in 2011 and ensure that even more young metropolitans take up Gaelic football and hurling over the coming decade.
That was the message from county board chairman Andy Kettle as he prepared to launch Dublin's Strategic Plan 2011-2017 -- in tandem with GAA president Christy Cooney and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar -- at Croke Park tonight.
Among the headline topics addressed is demographics. "We know from the last Census that there is a big increase in children born. That has been underpinned by the last three-month figures," Kettle told the Evening Herald.
"So within the lifetime of this plan, there is going to be a lot more young people available to play games -- and we need to have them playing our games," he stressed.
The plan, under the chairmanship of Brendan Waters, has been almost two years in the making. While much of the groundwork predated this year's various achievements -- when the Dublin footballers reclaimed Sam Maguire after a 16-year wait, the senior hurlers reached an All-Ireland semi-final and three other Sky Blue outfits reached underage All-Ireland finals -- Kettle suggested that this success gave Dublin the "perfect platform" from which to launch their plan for the future.
"It's not hypothetical or airy-fairy. It's very practical and measured, and what gets measured gets done," he promised, adding: "Obviously it's ambitious -- it will cost, so finance needs to be raised."
TYRONE GAA chiefs have called on warring spectators to admit responsibility for their role in the ugly scenes that besmirched their Division One league final between Dromore and Carrickmore. A mass brawl which broke out between players during the closing stages sparked a mini-riot in the stand at Dunmoyle. One disgusted spectator compared the scenes to "something out of a wild west film", with women and children crying and blood "running out of men left, right and centre".
Several spectators were left with open wounds after the disturbance, which reportedly lasted for around ten minutes.
Once order was restored, Dromore ran out five-point winners while two Carrickmore players received straight red cards as a result of the on-field row.
The Tyrone county board has already launched an investigation by its CCC (Competitions Control Committee) while calling on those spectators involved in the fighting to "come forward and accept responsibility for their actions. Their failure to do so will only further discredit their own clubs and our association."
Carrickmore GAA club has also issued a statement condemning the violent crowd scenes.
CROSSMAGLEN are through to yet another Ulster club football decider, but manager Tony McEntee wasn't totally won over by their patchy performance in seeing off Derry rivals Ballinderry by 0-17 to 1-10 at Casement Park yesterday.
"The positives were that we got a good half-hour's football in the first half. The negatives were that we stopped playing," McEntee concluded.
Cross' played some sublime first half football and looked poised to win easily after finding themselves seven points clear and a man up after Ballinderry full-forward Martin Harney received a second yellow card just before the break. But the second half proved a more fraught affair, with Conleith Gilligan's penalty leaving just a point between the sides entering the last ten minutes.