Fresh doubts arise over future of Railway Cup
A major question mark hangs over the future of the Railway Cup after Croke Park yesterday confirmed that the Inter-Provincial series, initially pencilled in for December, will not now go ahead in 2017.
The annual series was due to take place over two days on the second weekend in Decement but a spokesperson for the GAA told the Irish Independent that the series will "not proceed this year".
This year would have marked the 90th anniversary of the Railway Cup, but many believe the once prestigious competition has run its course - receiving relatively little promotion from the GAA in recent years and with fixtures attracting paltry crowds.
At one of last year's Inter-Provincial hurling semi-finals in Thurles a crowd of just 62 was said to have paid in to watch the clash. This is a far cry from the 1950s and 60s when tens of thousands would make their way to Croke Park on St Patrick's Day every year to watch the double-header of Railway Cup hurling and football finals.
The competition's decline was signalled earlier this year when the Connact Council outlined its intentions to remove its teams from the competition. Connact secretary John Prenty suggested the province's withdrawal in his report to last year's annual convention. Croke Park , however, has not confirmed if the series has been permanently terminated.