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Tailteann Cup semis to be stand-alone fixtures in June while Dubs to face Longford and Louth in O'Byrne Cup

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Longford captain Michael Quinn lifts the cup following the 2020 O'Byrne Cup final win over Offaly. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Longford captain Michael Quinn lifts the cup following the 2020 O'Byrne Cup final win over Offaly. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Longford captain Michael Quinn lifts the cup following the 2020 O'Byrne Cup final win over Offaly. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

The Tailteann Cup semi-finals will be the only inter-county fixtures on Sunday, June 19 in an effort to promote the inaugural competition for Division Three and Four teams that don't reach their provincial finals.

The semi-finals will share the weekend stage with the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals which will be played on Saturday, June 18.

No venues for the Tailteann Cup semi-finals have been fixed at this early stage but there is a strong body of opinion that they should be accommodated in Croke Park to add some additional prestige.

There has been concerns that the new competition, which has had to be shelved because of Covid over the last two years, would get lost in the blizzard of mainstream championship fixtures but being stand-alone fixtures, possibly in Croke Park with live TV coverage, should give them elevated status.

The Tailteann Cup final will be played as a curtain-raiser to the first All-Ireland football semi-final in Croke Park on Saturday July 9.

The dates are part of the GAA's master fixtures plan which has been circulated to clubs this week and will see all four provincial finals played on the same weekend, May 28/29, for the first time.

Meanwhile, the draws for the O'Byrne Cup have been completed with two groups of four (Dublin, Louth, Offaly and holders Longford in A and Meath, Wicklow, Wexford and Laois in B) and a group of three (Kildare, Westmeath and Carlow in C). Fixtures will be played on Saturday January 8, Wednesday January 12 and Saturday January 15 with one semi-final on Wednesday January 19 between the winners of Group B and C and a final on Saturday January 22 between the winners of the semi-final and the winners of Group A.

O'Byrne Cup draw -

Saturday, January 8 (2.0pm):

Group A - Longford v Louth, Offaly v Dublin

Group B - Wicklow v Meath, Wexford v Laois

Group C - Kildare v Westmeath

Wednesday, January 12 (7.30pm):

Group A - Dublin v Louth, Offaly v Longford

Group B Wicklow v Wexford, Laois v Meath

Group C - Carlow v Kildare

Saturday, January 15 (Throw-In TBC):

Group A – Longford v Dublin, Louth v Offaly

Group B - Laois v Wicklow, Meath v Wexford

Group C - Westmeath v Carlow


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