With the 2023 season in the rear-view mirror, and only a small number of managerial positions still to be filled, attention has turned to the 2024 campaign.
As the Leinster and Munster senior hurling championships will again be run on a round-robin basis, draws will only be required for the provincial football competitions. The draws are also expected to be streamed on the RTÉ website.
There will be slightly different formats to all four draws. The Leinster Senior Football Championship will see the four 2023 semi-finalists – Dublin, Kildare, Louth and Offaly – seeded and go directly to the quarter-final stages.
The remaining seven teams – Carlow, Laois, Longford, Meath, Wexford, Westmeath, Wicklow – will be in the pot for the first round, providing three matches and leaving one county to receive a bye to the quarterfinals.
The three round one matchups, plus the team receiving a bye, will then be drawn against the four seeded sides in the quarterfinals. Dublin have won the Leinster SFC every season since 2011, with Dessie Farrell’s side beating Louth in the 2023 final.
The 2023 Munster SFC finalists, Kerry and Clare, will be seeded for the 2024 competition and go directly to the semi-final stages.
A bowl including Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford will be drawn to provide two quarter-final pairings. There will be an open draw for the semi-finals, which will be Kerry, Clare and the two quarter-final winners.
The Connacht SFC already has two predetermined quarterfinals because of the rota system, which will see Kevin McStay’s Mayo travel to face New York at Gaelic Park while Pádraic Joyce’s Galway cross the Irish Sea to play London in Ruislip.
Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon will be in a separate bowl, from which a draw will take place to produce a third quarter-final. One of that trio will receive a bye to the semi-final stages. A subsequent draw will determine the semi-final pairings.
It appears teams in Connacht will again have to contend with a potential one-week turnaround between league finals and championship throw-in, as no extra week is to be granted for league finalists.
Just seven days after winning the Division One League final this year, Mayo lost a Connacht SFC quarter-final to Roscommon. Sligo, who won the Division Four final on April 1st and had to play London in Ruislip on April 8th – but the Yeats County did come away with a victory.
The Ulster SFC will have two bowls, the first of which will include the four teams from the preliminary round in 2022 (Tyrone v Fermanagh) and 2023 (Armagh v Antrim). That quartet is exempt from the preliminary round in 2024.
The first part of the Ulster draw will see five counties – Cavan, Derry, Donegal, Down and Monaghan – in a bowl from which the first two picked out will be in the preliminary round next summer. The remaining seven teams, plus the eventual preliminary round matchup, will then be added to the same bowl, from which they will then be drawn to provide four quarterfinals.
There will be plenty of interest to see where Tyrone and Mickey Harte’s Derry might cross paths in Ulster.
The Munster and Leinster hurling championships will again operate on a round-robin basis, and on the back of Saturday’s vote at Special Congress there remains a pathway for the Joe McDonagh Cup finalists to compete in All-Ireland preliminary quarterfinals in 2024.
The six teams in next year’s Leinster SHC are Antrim, Carlow, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny and Wexford.
The provisional fixtures for the 2024 Munster SHC will see John Kiely’s all-conquering Limerick begin the defence of their provincial crown with an away trip to Ennis to face Clare on the weekend of April 20th-21st. Davy Fitzgerald’s Waterford will be at home to Cork on that opening weekend.
Tipperary’s campaign begins the following week when they will travel to the Gaelic Grounds to play Limerick.