Saturday 16 December 2017

Leinster stadium plan on hold

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Plans by the Leinster Council to build a new GAA stadium in north Leinster have been shelved.

The Leinster Council's strategic review published earlier this year had suggested a mid-capacity stadium somewhere in north Leinster to cater for championship games involving counties from that area.

"The plan has been knocked on the head for the time being anyway," said Leinster chairman Martin Skelly following a meeting on Wednesday night.

"It was felt that in the economic climate there would be no point in building it."

Skelly also defended the decision to put back the Leinster club football championship by three weeks to accommodate the Dublin champions.

The hurling championships have also been delayed by a week to allow Dublin to complete their competitions.

Dublin's unique season in reaching four All-Ireland finals across two different codes have delayed their championships considerably.

"I think most counties would recognise that Dublin's situation was unique," said Skelly.

"They gave an honest presentation. The duality of their players and the duality of their clubs made it difficult to get games played.

"But they gave a guarantee that they would not be back in the same situation in 12 months time even if they repeated their inter county achievements."

The pitfalls in pushing the start of the championships back into the second weekend in November are that other county winners will be waiting for anything up to six weeks in some cases before they play a game.

In contrast the Dublin football champions will wait just one week as the Dublin county final is now scheduled to be played on November 6.

"Dublin guaranteed that they wouldn't be coming back in a few weeks time telling us to go on ahead without them because they wouldn't have it finished," said Kelly.

In the past, Leinster have been particular about counties finishing their championships on time.

Three years ago Kilanerin, Matty Forde's club, withdrew from the Leinster club championship when they had just 24 hours to prepare for a game with Navan O'Mahony's after winning the Wexford club title.

Skelly said the Leinster Council were confident that the club football final would still be played on December 18.

Irish Independent

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