Committee to hold back views on competitive structures


With the report of the Football Development Committee due to be published within the next fortnight, it is thought likely its recommendations will be broken into two sets of proposals, the second of which – dealing with competitive structures – will be held over until the new year.

First to be announced is expected to be the findings of the committee, which has just finished the most thorough consultation in the history of the association, in relation to the rules of the game and how best to address one of the biggest concerns communicated to the FDC, cynical and foul play.

A raft of ideas and proposals on how best to organise the championship was also received.

Within the committee, however, there have been apprehensions about the extent to which competition structures might attract controversy and publicity to the detriment of a proper consideration of playing rule changes.

Public debate

Accordingly it is believed the committee will hold back its views on competition formats in order to allow public debate on the other issue.

Whereas there is believed to be something approaching consensus on the need to address foul play and cynicism, there is no such agreement on any suggested new competitive structures.

On the subject of the FDC, a piece in this newspaper yesterday published an incomplete list of the committee’s membership. Omitted was the name of the committee’s secretary Kevin Griffin, the director of registry in UCD.

Meanwhile, the Leinster Council announced yesterday the times of the provincial football and hurling finals, scheduled for Sunday week, will be staggered.

The postponement of last weekend’s hurling semi-final between Oulart-The Ballagh and Ballyhale Shamrocks had disrupted the schedules and forced both the final between the winners and Kilcormac-Killoughey to be put back a week.

The football final between Ballymun Kickhams and Portlaoise in Mullingar had always been scheduled for that day but both will now go ahead on the same afternoon.

The football match has however been moved forward by 15 minutes to 1.45pm whereas the hurling will begin at 2pm in either Nowlan Park or Portlaoise.

Leinster Council agreed to the change at the request of local radio.

Elsewhere, tonight sees the GAA comedy The Pull arrive on stage in Dublin’s St Vincent’s club in Marino. It is based on a GAA club that runs into minor financial trouble, and, consequently, embarks on a fund-raiser that serves only to exacerbate their plight and features well known Gaelic games writer Liam Horan, who also devised the successful Championship Man monologues. Details are available on the club website,

Meath’s David Gough is set to referee the Leinster club SFC Final between Portlaoise and Ballymun Kickhams on Sunday week at Cusack Park, Mullingar.

Finally, amongst the many GAA books available this Christmas is No.3: 1 Jersey, 14 Men, 34 All-Ireland Titles by prolific Kilkenny hurling historian Dermot Kavanagh, which looks at the extraordinary influence on the county’s teams of their full backs throughout history.

The title refers to the fact that Kilkenny have started just 14 men on the edge of the square in over a century of contesting and winning All-Ireland titles. Included in this distinguished club is Brian Cody, who has added nine All-Irelands as manager to the three he won as a player – two of which were as full back.

The book is published by Irish Sports Publishing and priced at €14.99.

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