Saturday 17 March 2018

Galway seek clarity on Leinster commitment

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

GALWAY are to seek an urgent meeting with Croke Park after discovering that their agreement to play senior championship hurling in Leinster has tied them into competing in the province until 2013 at least.

Galway initially agreed to a three-season stay in Leinster two years ago, but, in the course of recent negotiations, discovered that a new rule passed by this year's Congress has bound them into the province until 2013.

Galway hurling board chairman Joe Byrne has admitted "this caught us all by surprise and we need to establish all of the details."

Byrne will be part of a delegation, which is also expected to include county board chairman Gerry Larkin, that will meet GAA authorities to seek clarity on the matter.

Galway footballers have also been hit with a blow after losing sponsors Aer Arann, but the chairman of the county football board John Joe Holleran said he is confident that they will have a new backer in place by the start of the national leagues.

Aer Arann sponsored Galway football for the past three seasons in a deal believed to have been worth €100,000 a-year.

Holleran said they would continue to use the airline's logo on their jerseys if a replacement sponsor is not found. "But we are fortunate that there are always people interested in sponsoring Galway football," Holleran said.

Tomas O Flatharta's first game in charge of the Tribesmen will be against Sligo, in the FBD League, on January 9 and Galway's 2011 NFL opener is against Monaghan on February 6.

Elsewhere, Cavan secretary Liam McCabe says he was heartened by the angry response to his suggestion that it might be time to pull their hurlers out of the NHL.

Cavan hurling interests, including their senior players, immediately banded together to protest at this suggestion and while McCabe maintained his stance at their county convention, he said the immediate response showed there was great passion for hurling in the Breffni county.

Outgoing Cavan chairman Tom Reilly also made reference to the county's hurling problems, saying "we can't do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result, because that's not sensible."

Reilly said dividing the county into eight regions for hurling purposes had already improved things and "made real progress."

There was no mention, from the top table or the floor, of the recent allegation that Cavan footballers broke Croke Park's ban on collective training last weekend.

Local officials claim that county regular Cian Mackey did not take part in what was a 'county trial' game.

Trial games are allowed in the current 'closed' period, so long as they only feature players who were not part of last year's inter-county panels and Cavan officials maintain that Mackey was involved in rehabilitating a shoulder injury and did not take part in their recent trial.

Elsewhere one of the three Leinster club finals due this weekend -- the junior hurling decider between Drumcullen (Offaly) and John Lockes (Kilkenny) -- has been postponed due to the weather, as has the All-Ireland Ladies Football Junior Final between Caltra Cuans and Omagh St Enda's.

The Roscommon Convention, due to take place in Drum today, has also been deferred, but local officials have succeeded in getting a special derogation from Croke Park which will allow them to reconvene it on Saturday January 8.

Irish Independent

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