Friday 23 February 2018

Leinster to review role of Galway and Antrim -- Delaney

Michael Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THE Leinster Council is to meet Galway next month to discuss their continued involvement in the province's senior hurling championship, which is now in the second last season of a five-year cycle.

Originally scheduled for review after three years, it was extended by two seasons after changes to the All-Ireland hurling format.

Leinster CEO Michael Delaney said they were quite happy with the new arrangement, which also includes Antrim's participation.

"We need to find out what Galway are thinking and to discuss what we all want for the future as it will be necessary to bring forward a motion to Congress next year if any changes are required for 2014 ," said Delaney.

Leinster officials are also open to discussions on Galway's participation in the U-21 and minor championship although that's unlikely to be met with much enthusiasm among counties east or west of the Shannon.

opposition

"Galway don't seem very keen on the idea. Their clubs are happy with the U-21 and minor championships as they stand," said Delaney.

"As for Leinster counties, there would be some opposition to Galway's U-21s and minors coming in. Kilkenny wouldn't be too bothered either way but some others would. They wouldn't be all that comfortable with Galway's presence at underage level."

It's unlikely that Antrim will seek to enter the Leinster underage championships as it would undermine the Ulster competition.

Delaney also indicated that if Galway and Antrim come into the Leinster senior championship on a permanent basis, they could expect to host games in Pearse Stadium and Casement Park.

"That was always in the background," he said. "I'd imagine it would work on a home and away basis but, in principle, I don't think there would be any problems with playing Leinster games outside the province."

On the broader front, Christy Ring winners London's likely arrival in the top championship tier next year will bring to 15 the number of counties competing for the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

However, it will be the last year when so many counties are involved as relegation will apply after 2013.

Irish Independent

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