Sunday 22 April 2018

Dublin chief Kettle pours cold water on call to split county board

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Christy Cooney's suggestion that Dublin needs to look at the possibility of splitting itself into two county boards has not gone down well with the capital's hierarchy.

Dublin chairman Andy Kettle said the GAA president's comments at Congress "came completely out of left field."

"The Uachtaran is entitled to make comments, that is a given and I have no problem with that," he said.

"But I am surprised, given that we are already in the process of a major internal strategic review and nothing was said to us beforehand.

"(Director general) Paraic Duffy has sat in on several of our meetings and at no stage has this been mentioned, or has it been suggested to us to even consider splitting our county board."

At last weekend's Congress, Cooney said, "I'm putting the challenge to Dublin to consider carefully where they're going.

"Is (the current board) allowing the GAA to get the most out of Dublin or would an administration re-examination allow for higher penetration levels when it comes to activity?

"The population of Dublin has increased dramatically over the years yet very few new clubs have been founded."


Kettle pointed out that Dublin already has three different Competition Control Committees (CCC) which oversee approximately 11,000 fixtures annually.

Dublin already also operate a regional (North and South) system for underage development squads from U-13 upwards, who come together as one team at U-16 level.

But Kettle said there was no call from within the county for dividing the board and said he wouldn't favour it.

"I couldn't see it happening. The logistics of it would be very difficult. Where would you establish borders, for a start?" he asked.

"I played all my own football under the Fingal Board which existed up to 20 years ago, but it was felt then that it was better for both codes to switch to an all-county competition model and our current system works extremely well."

This is not the first time that the notion of splitting Dublin into two boards has been made.

It was also made when the GAA conducted a national strategic review in 2001, and Cooney was deeply involved in that also.

"We have spent the last 18 months doing a major strategic review which will guide Dublin GAA for the next five years. It is in draft form at the moment but we hope to publish it in the next two months," said Kettle.

Irish Independent

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