All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals to be played as scheduled next Saturday

Emergency Central Council meeting declined to switch hurling matches with the Tailteann Cup semi-finals on Sunday

Lee Chin of Wexford in All-Ireland preliminary action against Laois. Photograph: James Lawlor/Inpho

The All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals will be played as scheduled next Saturday in Thurles. This emerged after an emergency Central Council meeting declined by a narrow margin to switch them with the Tailteann Cup semi-finals, due to be played in Croke Park next Sunday.

Proposed by Wexford, the idea was believed to have support from the Munster and Leinster provincial councils.

On Saturday evening, there was speculation that the quarter-finals would be moved to Sunday because of unhappiness at their low-key scheduling on a double bill, which opens at lunch-time because of media rights holders RTÉ’s obligation to show live coverage of the URC final, which this year doesn’t feature any Irish teams.

Dublin face Cork and Clare will play Wexford in Thurles. Wexford had looked for a deferral on the grounds that they will be hosting the national under-14 festival Féile.


Had the flipping of the days been approved, the Tailteann Cup semi-finals would have shifted to the Saturday. The prospect of moving the Tailteann semi-finalists at such short, six days, notice had already caused consternation with one of the affected counties, Sligo, protesting.

County chair Seán Carroll said in an email, published by the Irish Independent, that Sligo were “utterly disgusted” at the suggestion and that the benefit to the four hurling counties would be marginal and soon forgotten.

“By contrast, if it were to come to pass, the act of shunting the Tailteann Cup semi-finals away from that celebrated Sunday slot sends a resounding signal to all that the Tailteann Cup is indeed just an afterthought in the GAA calendar as sceptics have claimed.

“The competition is anything but an afterthought for literally half the Association. Realistically though, if this change goes through, how can any of us demand of the media and others that they respect the competition given that the Association itself is willing to move it aside at the whim of a few.

“This decision, if it is followed through, is thoroughly disrespectful to all those who have participated in and supported the Tailteann Cup or who – even if not involved themselves - have advocated for the opportunity for others to do so.”

Central Council was discussing the matter because the Central Competitions Control Committee, the normal authority for fixtures, had remitted it for higher consideration because the exclusive date for the Tailteann semi-finals had been a core assurance in selling the Tier Two football championship.

The semi-finals – Down v Sligo and Antrim v Laois – will go ahead on the Sunday.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times