Geography and sporting destiny

 

Sir, – The advantages which the Dublin GAA senior football team enjoy over other counties, as perceived by A Leavy (June 27th), do not stand up to even cursory inspection.

If population, support and finance are the dominant factors in achieving sporting success on the field, then why is it that Kilkenny, with a population of approximately 95,000 people, has won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship on 36 occasions against Dublin’s six titles?

Offaly, with a population of less than 80,000, won four Liam McCarthy Cups and the Sam Maguire Cup on three occasions since 1971.

Dublin’s last senior hurling title was in 1938, when Joe Louis was world heavyweight champion, Franco was in the thick of the Spanish civil war and Dr Douglas Hyde had become the first president of Ireland.

The last time Dublin had a busy first Sunday in September was in 1961 when they lost in the decider to Tipperary, another sparsely populated county.

Since Dublin’s last victory in 1938, Kilkenny has lifted the Liam McCarthy Cup no fewer that 25 times.

One Dublin senior hurling title in 79 years tells its own story. Dublin GAA has more pressing problems than Diarmuid Connolly’s 12-week ban. – Yours, etc,

TOM COOPER,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – A Leavy (June 27th) suggests that Dublin’s size gives it an unfair advantage over other counties in the Gaelic football championship and proposes that it be broken up to compete as its four separate local authority areas – Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin, and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

Supporters of this proposal should note that individually the four Dublin “counties” would rank as the first, third, fourth and seventh largest respectively for population among the would-be 35 counties, with Cork in second, Galway in fifth and Kildare in sixth place.

If the failure of Cork, Galway and Kildare to feature in any recent finals does not persuade people that size isn’t everything, then perhaps the prospect of not just a potential all-Dublin all-Ireland final, but of two all-Dublin semi-finals as well, might convince them. – Yours, etc,

JOHN THOMPSON,

Phibsboro,

Dublin 7.