Munster Council opt to revert to seeded draw for senior provincial football championship
Move will be seen as a blow to the traditionally less powerful counties in the province
Jim McGuinness: is expected to confirm over this weekend he will continue in charge of Donegal for another year. Photograph: Inpho
Munster Council decided last night that the senior provincial football championship should revert to a seeded format, keeping Cork and Kerry on separate sides of the draw.
At the beginning of the 1990s the province opened up the draw and the changed format was instrumental in initially getting Limerick in 1991 to a first football final in 26 years. Twelve months later Clare reached the final and in one of the big surprises of the modern era defeated Kerry.
Munster reverted briefly to the seeded draw for two years 2007-08 before opening up the championship again. The move will be seen as a blow to the traditionally less powerful counties in the province, who will now have to defeat both Cork and Kerry if they are to emulate Clare’s achievement of 21 years ago.
Meanwhile, Longford county board have decided to shelve plans for a centre of excellence in Lyneen. The decision was taken at Wednesday’s county committee meeting when it became clear the costs of developing the 41-acre €400,000 property had risen beyond budget. Speaking yesterday on Shannonside FM radio, county secretary Peter Reilly said the potential exposure of continuing with the development persuaded the county to call a halt.
“The bottom line on it was economics,” he said. “There were other issues but the bottom line was the financial viability of going ahead with the project.”
Another major GAA development, Casement Park in Belfast, has been objected to by local residents, the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents Association (MORA) on the grounds the 38,000-capacity stadium would be too big. Reacting to this news yesterday, the Ulster Council said: “The first meeting that the design team held following their appointment in September 2012 was with the MORA residents group. The GAA also compromised significantly on the design and capacity of the development following ongoing engagement with MORA.
“MORA also decided recently to withdraw from discussions with the GAA and while this is regrettable the GAA wants to re-engage with the group at the earliest convenience to review the operational issues as part of the stadium redevelopment.”
Jim McGuinness is expected to confirm over this weekend he will continue in charge of Donegal for another year. Last week clubs in Donegal voted to postpone senior and intermediate club championship fixtures in order to allow players concentrate on the county team while still in contention for the All-Ireland.