Sport GAA

Saturday 20 October 2018

Nothing to cheer at the end of interpros

Opponents contend that the interpros are no longer relevant, necessary or desirable in the modern GAA. (stock picture)
Opponents contend that the interpros are no longer relevant, necessary or desirable in the modern GAA. (stock picture)

Breheny Beat with Martin Breheny

According to the GAA's fixture list, published at the start of the year, the interprovincials were due to be played next weekend (Connacht v Munster and Leinster v Ulster in the football and hurling semi-finals on Saturday, with the finals on Sunday).

They won't be happening, having been scrubbed from the schedule as apathy gathered pace to such a degree that Connacht felt sufficiently emboldened to declare their intention to withdraw.

There has been no official announcement of the interpros' permanent removal but we can take it they won't be coming back.

This year is the 90th anniversary of their launch but they are now to consigned to history, killed largely by inertia and negativity from those who should be promoting them.

Those of us who are old enough to remember when they were big attractions also recall how their rugby equivalents were often watched by tiny attendances.

The reverse has been the case for quite some time and while it seems few in the GAA wonder why that is the case, they would do well not to be so smug. How did rugby make their interpros so attractive while the GAA watched their competitions disintegrate?

Opponents contend that the interpros are no longer relevant, necessary or desirable in the modern GAA.

Really? Their decline wasn't solely down to changing times but rather to a lack of imagination on how to promote them in changing times. And if that can happen in one area, it can happen in others. So instead of celebrating the end of the interpros, it would be wiser to reflect on why it happened.

Irish Independent

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