Friday 24 November 2017

Cork motion proposes earlier All-Ireland dates

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

A desire to leave more room for club championship activity rests behind Cork's call to bring forward by two weeks the dates of the All-Ireland senior hurling and football finals.

If their motion to Congress in Derry on the weekend after next is successful, the hurling final will be played on the last Sunday in August with the football final two weeks later from 2014 onwards. Similar proposals from other counties have failed in the past, but there appears to be growing support for earlier finals in recent times.

Cork county secretary Frank Murphy said that the initiative had come mainly from the senior clubs in the county.

"They feel that the inter-county scene is having an adverse effect on club schedules. In Cork we make good progress with our club championships even when our county teams are involved in the All-Ireland championships, but it was felt that speeding up the All-Ireland championships would be a big help," he said.

The motion was put to the Cork convention by Nemo Rangers (former Cork star Derek Kavanagh spoke for the club) and St Nicholas' and received widespread support.

Murphy said it was the clear wish of clubs to make more room available for local competitions. It now remains to be seen if Cork can muster enough support to win the two-thirds majority required to change the rule.

Bringing forward the finals would impact on the championships earlier on, leading to either an earlier start to the provincial campaigns or busier scheduling throughout the summer.

One of the arguments that will be put forward against earlier finals is the negative impact it would have on the promotion of football and hurling.

If the finals are completed by the second Sunday in September, it would leave almost five months free of inter-county activity, greatly reducing the GAA's media exposure.

Irish Independent

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