Wednesday 24 January 2018

Galway U-21s 'led like sheep to slaughter'

One of Galway's leading GAA officials says that the county's U-21 hurling team were "led like sheep to the slaughter" when Tipperary were given home advantage for the All-Ireland a week after winning the senior crown.

And Galway Hurling Board secretary John Fahey said that 10 weeks later they still have not received answers from GAA bosses after the final took place in Semple Stadium,Thurles.

The Tribesmen suffered a 5-22 to 0-12 hammering in the final, with Fahey stating that less 500 fans from Galway were in the crowd of 21,110, with Tipperary supporters turning out in force at a venue where just days earlier they had welcomed home their senior side after winning the MacCarthy Cup.

Galway tried unsuccessfully to have the match switched to a neutral venue. "Having qualified for the final against Tipperary, the alarm bells began to ring when word began to filter through that the final would take place in Thurles," said Fahey.

"Immediate contact with the Central Competitions Control Committee did not confirm this, but advice was that we should put our thoughts before the next meeting of the CCCC, which we did. But, lo and behold, the earlier rumours became reality and Thurles was confirmed.

"Appeals were made, meetings did and didn't take place, but the fixture stood and the Galway U-21 team were led like sheep to the slaughter having to travel to Thurles to play Tipperary, six days after their senior victory.

"Throwing aside the politics surrounding the fixture and the fact that now 10 weeks later we still await communication in response to queries raised, this situation should never occur again."

He makes his comments in his report to the Galway hurling board convention which will now take place on Saturday, having been called off last night due to the adverse weather.

Meanwhile, Donegal sources indicate that former Young Footballers of the Year Michael Murphy will captain county's senior footballers next year.

Murphy is set to take over the skipper's armband from Kevin Cassidy and at just 21, he becomes one of the youngest senior team captains in the country.

Aisake Ó hAilpín has signed a two-year contract to play Aussie Rules with Essendon District Football League side Marbyrnong Park.

Ó hAilpín made himself unavailable for Cork's hurlers after brother Seán Óg was dropped from the panel and immediately packed his backs for Australia last month.

The 25-year-old expressed an interest in resuming an Aussie Rules career having initially spent three seasons at Carlton along with brother Setanta. When he failed to make the step-up to the senior ranks, he returned to Cork at the end of 2008.

Irish Independent

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