Bumper weekend of action to deliver €3 million boost to GAA coffers
The GAA coffers are set to swell after a bonanza this weekend where approximately €3 million is expected to be generated over a bumper period.
Somewhere in the region of 150,000 fans are expected to part with their hard-earned cash and go through the turnstiles at the various grounds throughout the country for a host of juicy ties.
The mouth-watering Munster SHC final, pitting a resurgent Tipperary against All-Ireland champions Limerick, is a sell-out at the LIT Gaelic Grounds tomorrow (2.0) with 45,000 on course to attend, while between 40-50,000 are estimated to visit Croke Park for the Leinster SHC decider between Wexford and Kilkenny (4.0).
Should either fixture end in a stalemate, a replay would generate another huge windfall for the GAA while tonight's All-Ireland SFC qualifiers are also of serious interest with big numbers expected.
Tipp boss Liam Sheedy has named Cathal Barrett at corner-back for their date with the Treaty despite the former All-Star defender limping off against the same opposition two weeks ago.
Whether Barrett has recovered fully from a hamstring injury remains to be seen but were he passed fit, it would be a huge boost for a side showing one other change with Dan McCormack replacing cruciate victim Patrick 'Bonner' Maher.
Limerick manager John Kiely has restored captain Declan Hannon, Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch, Gearóid Hegarty and Graeme Mulcahy to his starting 15 with Peter Casey the only new face from last year's All-Ireland final. He replaces Seamus Flanagan as Kiely looks to get his hands on Munster honours, to add to their league and All-Ireland trophies.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny supremo Brian Cody has kept the faith with his Kilkenny side for their eagerly-anticipated rematch with Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford as they look to lift the Bob O'Keeffe Cup again.
Joey Holden, Cillian Buckley and Walter Walsh retain their places having overcome injury lay-offs to start in that epic draw with the Model men at Innovate Wexford Park two weeks ago.
Paddy Deegan was forced off with a heavy knock that day but the O'Loughlin Gaels defender is named to play with former Hurler of the Year Richie Hogan once again kept in reserve by the 11-time All-Ireland-winning manager.
Victory would give Fitzgerald a novel piece of history as an inter-county manager with senior provincial titles in Munster and Leinster, an All-Ireland title as well as league honours in a stellar career.