The GAA has approved the green proposal to reform the football championship. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Proposal to be submitted to annual congress which will take place at the end of February

This morning’s Central Council meeting is likely to favour the green proposal for football championship reform. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Proposal includes round-robin that protects importance of provincial championship

Former Westmeath footballer John Donnellan. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho

Six counties supported proposal to tie development funding to registered membership

The proposal is likely to secure the backing of Central Council and will go to congress with the probable proviso that it be accepted for a three-year trial. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Central Council likely to back plan that will then be presented to congress

 If the GAA are confident in their view that the five counties’ case is flawed – and they likely are – what would be the harm in allowing discussion to take place? Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Issue has been causing concern for a number of years and deserves a hearing at congress

Cork’s St Finbarr’s celebrate their AIB Munster Club SFC Final win over Kerry’s Austin Stacks at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Victory over Kerry’s Austin Stacks secure first provincial crown in 35 years

Oisín Mullin is no longer moving to Australia. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Two-time young footballer of the year had been given a squad number in Oz before announcement

St. Finbarrs’ Enda Dennehy scores his side’s second goal. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Intervention from Cork veteran Shields proves to be crucial to take Munster crown

Austin Stacks v St Finbarrs will be just the 14th Cork-Kerry club final in 50 years. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Seán Moran looks ahead to this weekend’s football and hurling club provincial finals

Rob Downey: ‘Every game in the Fitzgibbon is hard. I think we’ve two away games and one at home.’   Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Defender looking forward to a busy season starting with UCC’s Fitzgibbon Cup campaign

Tony Brosnan in action for Kerry during the McGrath Cup win over Tipperary. Hours earlier, he helped MTU Kerry to victory over UCD in the Sigerson Cup. Photograph: Laszlo Geczp/Inpho

Brosnan and Savage both came on for last 14 minutes of McGrath Cup win over Tipp

Michael Reynolds call for a change in culture when it comes to underage fixtures

Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty interviewed by RTÉ’s Marty Morrissey during the FBD Connacht Senior Football League quarter-final between Leitrim and Sligo at the  Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Co Mayo. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

John Prenty worried abuse of players and officials will drive them from association

GAA director general has been criticised by John Connellan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former Westmeath footballer Connellan is leading campaign to revise Dublin funding

Graeme Mulcahy has played a key role in Kilmallock’s run this year. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Provincial final places are up for grabs in both football and hurling

Limerick’s Cian Lynch dominated the season and has been rewarded with a second Hurler of the Year award. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Lynch joins storied list of multi-award winners in hurling

Niall Morgan and Darren McCurry are among eight Tyrone players to win football All Stars. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mayo and Kerry get three each while Dublin fall back from nine to just one for Ciarán Kilkenny

Cian Lynch, one of the 12 selected Limerick All Stars this year, celebrates at the final whistle following the county’s comprehensive victory over Cork in the All-Ireland final. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

County’s dominance invites comparisons with great Kilkenny sides of recent decades

Cillian O’Connor and James Durcan console Ryan O’Donoghue after Mayo’s defeat to Tyrone in the All-Ireland SFC Final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Joint statement with manager James Horan comes after fall-out from defeat to Tyrone

Gearóid Hegarty and Seán Finn are among 12 Limerick players to win All Stars this year. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Previous record of nine awards had been achieved by four sides, including Limerick

Cuala falls into a part of Dublin that has a  large playing base but the fewest number of pitches in proportion. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Senior men’s side could do with top trackers as they go hunting to reclaim Sam Maguire

Kilmacud Crokes’ Paul Mannion is chased by Daniel O’Neill of Wolfe Tones during the Leinster quarter-final. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

Business end of the provincial stage to come as Croke Park semis await for Leinster sides

Kilmacud Crokes’ Paul Mannion is chased by Daniel O’Neill of Wolfe Tones. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

Kilmacud Crokes now to meet Portarlington in Leinster semi-final at Croke Park

TJ Reid celebrates scoring a point for Ballyhale Shamrocks in the Kilkenny SHC Final against O’Loughlin Gaels at  UPMC Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

There’s action in all four provinces in another packed schedule of games

Aidan Harte lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after Galway’s win over Waterford at Croke park in September 2017. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Versatile 2017 All-Ireland winner also won three league titles during his career

Tyrone’s Ronan McNamee celebrates with the Sam Maguire cup following victory over Mayo in this year’s  All-Ireland final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ten-man body will need to square the circle that caused problems for rejected Option B at special congress

Cork GAA chief executive Kevin O’Donovan believes the GAA has a ‘clear crisis’ over a shortage of referees. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kevin O’Donovan acknowledges beach training session ‘simply should not have happened’

Seánie O’Leary has died aged 69. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

O’Leary won eight All-Irelands across three levels including four Liam McCarthy medals

Wexford’s Martin Storey and Offaly’s Brian Whelahan chat at the 1998 All Stars awards at the Burlington Hotel. Photograph:   David Maher/Sportsfile

50th anniversary publication digs back into some colourful stories from down the years

  Declan Ruth: ‘I saw it on Saturday, the fumbling, the poor touch and dropping balls. . .  Clough-Ballacolla won their county three weeks ago and were too good not to take advantage.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Eleven-week wait since their county final win did Model champions no favours, says boss Ruth

John McGrath, Noel McGrath and Brian McGrath of Loughmore-Castleiney celebrate with the cup after the county final win over Thurles Sarsfields at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Dual club played for 17 weeks in a row to claim Tipperary county titles in both codes

John McGrath of Loughmore-Castleiney scores the winning point during the Tipperary SHC final against Thurles Sarsfields. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Tipperary club complete the county double with McGrath notching both winning scores

Former Dublin player Norman Allen has died. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

St Vincents clubman played in the 1952 All-Ireland hurling final defeat by Cork

File photo of Down manager James McCartan. Photo: Russell Pritchard/Inpho

New manager knows he wasn’t first port of call but was happy to take the leap anyway

The Dublin team celebrate with the Delaney Cup. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Draws to be made on Saturday Sport with hurling championship fixtures also confirmed

Rapparees Jack Kelly celebrates scoring his side’s fifth goal during the Wexford final. Photo: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Clough Ballacolla and Rapparees get things started in Leinster on Saturday

Waterford’s Jack Prendergast hand-passing   to Austin Gleeson in this  year’s  championship quarter-final against Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

‘Players are good but there’s no risking possession or tussling for the ball,’ says Cleary

James McCartan is back for a second spell in charge of Down. Photograph: William Cherry/Inpho

Manager will link up with Aidan O’Rourke as he begins his second spell at the helm

By re-instating the secondary provincial competitions – McKenna Cup, Walsh Cup et cetera – to be run in the weeks leading up to the league - the GAA simply created the demand for more weeks training. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Opportunity missed for players to have a meaningful Christmas in schedule changes

File photo of Eamonn Rea from 2003. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Limerick hurler became a well known publican on Parkgate Street in Dublin

Kilmacud Crokes’ Ben Shovlin celebrates after they beat St Jude’s to win the Dublin title. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Callum Pearson’s point deep into injury time clinched the victory at Parnell Park

All matches in next year’s intercounty championships apart from All-Ireland finals are set to be decided on the day. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Proposal doesn’t include All-Ireland finals but now includes semis and provincial finals

Kevin McManamon’s meet Paul Mannion’s Kilmacud Crokes in the Dublin final on Sunday. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Dublin football final one of the highlights on a busy day of club action on Sunday

The two most striking parts of the report are the extent to which the general sports follower is interested in Gaelic games – two million out of 2.7 million – and the comparatively high proportion of women included in those numbers. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Association more than holding its own despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic

Limerick have 15 nominations for the hurling All-Stars. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Second year running that the banquet hasn’t gone ahead

Brian Fenton: ‘I love travelling and there probably will come a time when I’ll do it for an extended period but it very likely won’t be until I’ve finished playing football.” Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

‘We were completely wrong with the way the country was’ admits 2020 player of the year

  Eoin Murphy: ‘Are you going to punish Limerick simply because they’re so far ahead of the pack at this stage?’ Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Decorated goalkeeper voices scepticism about changing hurling in response to trends

Brian Fenton hadn’t lost in 44 championship matches before this year’s Mayo semi-final. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Influential midfielder had never lost a championship game before this summer

Croke Park: the scene of the big day on the club calendar for many years. The addition of junior and intermediate All-Irelands in recent years has greatly expanded the horizons of clubs. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Over the decades the senior championships have brought untold joy to communities.

The All-Ireland SFC final between Mayo and Tyrone received an average audience of 940,000. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Current five-year deal to expire in 2022 with decision still to be made over 2023 SFC

Loughmore-Castleiney’s players remonstrate with referee Conor Doyle at the final whistle after not being awarded a line ball. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Thurles up by four at half-time but can’t make advantage pay in thrilling finish

Inagh-Kilnamona have an injury concern over intercounty player Aidan McCarthy ahead of the Clare SHC Final against Ballyea on Sunday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

A total of 14 county football and hurling titles are down for decision over the weekend

Dublin’s Jonny Cooper is challenged by  Aidan O’Shea of Mayo during the  All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park in August. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

‘It does come back, deservedly so, to people that are leading the line’

Kilkenny’s Joey Holden in action against Dublin. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Announcement comes days after Colin Fennelly also called it a day

Referee John Keenan officiating at the All-Ireland semi-final between Limerick and Waterford at Croke Park in August. A red card he handed to  Limerick’s Peter Casey for a head-butt was subsequently rescinded. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

GAA needs to enforce rules on abusive behaviour and support referees’ decisions

Ballyhale Shamrocks celebrate their fourth-consecutive Kilkenny SHC title. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Manager replaced Henry Shefflin as Shamrocks completed Kilkenny four-in-a-row

Colin Fennelly raises the Tom Walsh Cup after Ballyhale Shamrocks’ victory over O’Loughlin Gaels in the Kilkenny final at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Ballyhale star won four All-Irelands for Kilkenny and was twice an All Star during a glorious career

Ballyhale Shamrocks players celebrate after beating O’Loughlin Gaels to win the Kilkenny SHC title. Photo: Ken Sutton/Inpho

TJ Reid at the heart of his side’s victory, notching nine points along the way

Referee Conor Lane indicates a shoulder tackle as Eoghan McLaughlin lies injured during the All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

James Owens, Conor Lane and Paud O’Dwyer on being in the spotlight this year

Kilmacud Crokes’ Anthony Quinn and Tom Fox celebrate after their quarter-final win over Na Fianna. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The semi-finals of the Dublin senior football championship take centre stage on Saturday

Damien Joyce (right) has joined Henry Shefflin’s backroom team at Galway. He was also part of Micheál Donoghue’s  All-Ireland winning management in 2017. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Joyce was part of of Micheál Donoghue’s All-Ireland winning management in 2017

General view of Croke Park. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Excellent playing surface provides more certainty that matches won’t be called off

Dessie Ferguson passed away aged 91.

Dual player also lined out in the county’s last All-Ireland hurling final in 1961

Paul Ferriter’s fine sculpture of  Michael Cusack, founder of the GAA, which is outside the museum at Croke Park. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Michael Cusack’s letters inviting people to attend first meeting were sent from 4 Gardiner Place

Lorcan McMullan of Kilmacud Crokes during the win over Cuala. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kieran Dowling’s side got the better of old rivals and will face Na Fianna in the final

Michael Murphy missed a penalty and was sent off during Donegal’s Ulster final defeat to Tyrone. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

County’s heartbeart hopes his side can learn from Tyrone’s improbably All-Ireland win

Kevin O’Brien and Mick O’Dwyer show their delight after Wicklow’s All-Ireland qualifier win over Longford at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. Photograph: Garry O’Neill/Inpho

All Star Wicklow footballer has his reservations about new competition

Motion 19 was defeated after failing to get the 60 per cent majority required. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A wider issue of governance is at play, not simply malfunctioning football competitions

Tom Ryan: ‘Plenty of people want things to move on so we keep going.’ Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ghost of the provincial championships possessed the thoughts of the Ulster counties

Motion 19 is defeated as it failed to get 60 per cent. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Change still afoot despite 60 per cent Special Congress figure failing to materialise

GAA director general Tom Ryan, president  Larry McCarthy and former present John Horan during the debate on motion 19 at Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Way needs to be found to avoid marginalisation of provincial championships

Motion 19 is defeated as it failed to get 60 per cent of the vote. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The final vote of 51 per cent in favour falls short of required 60 per cent threshold

The Sam Maguire cup.  Motion 19  effectively throws the future of the provincial championships into doubt by switching them to February and March. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Special congress concerns Option B and importing national league into championship

Wexford GAA chair Micheál Martin thinks option A – a ‘four eights’ – was unfairly dismissed, but acknowledges it’s too late to tweak it before Saturday’s congress. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

League-based championship option gaining traction ahead of special congress vote

Action from the Leinster SFC round one match between Offaly and Louth at  Páirc Tailteann in  Navan back in June. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

Meath county ground beats Páirc Uí Chaoimh to top spot

Ephie Fitzgerald has been named as the new Waterford football manager. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Former Cork women’s manager takes charge on a two-year term

Henry Shefflin is expected to be named as the new Galway hurling manager. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/inpho

Fellow Kilkenny man Richie O’Neill will be joining Tribesmen as coach

GAA president Larry McCarthy and director general  Tom Ryan give a media briefing at Croke Park  ahead of Saturday’s special congress. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

President Larry McCarthy and director general Tom Ryan give backing in personal capacities

Saturday’s special congress could see the most radical shift in 135 years of intercounty competition be brought in. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

Most radical shift in 135 years of intercounty competition on the agenda this weekend

Cork are the latest county to vote in favour of Option B. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

60 per cent weighted majority necessary for proposal to succeed this weekend

The GAA special congress will go ahead at Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

Likely that delegates and journalists will be required to show vaccination certificates

Cian O’Neill has been appointed manager of the Galway footballers. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Kildare man takes the role with a wealth of experience behind him

Former GAA president John Horan said Option A had very little support and suggested it be withdrawn. File photograph: Inpho

Four eight-county ‘provinces’ Option A choice may be withdrawn from clár

File photo of Tommy Walsh playing against Dublin in 2020. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Kerins O’Rahilly’s club man leaves with two All-Ireland medals to his name

Mayo manager James Horan has expressed a number of reservations about the propsed Option B for restructuring the football championship. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mayo boss also hits back against claims of a damaging rift between him and his selectors

Ronan Sheehan took exception to comments made by Ulster GAA chief executive Brian McAvoy in an interview with the Irish Examiner. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘I take real umbrage to him referring to work of that task force in context as Oliver Cromwell’

Ronan Sheehan says status quo is not working for anyone at the moment in football

Gaelic Players’ Association chief executive Tom Parsons laid out how Option B would work during a recent presentation. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

League-based proposals might struggle to achieve 60% target required at congress

 Former Cork manager John Meyler  with his son, former Republic of Ireland international  David. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Father and son collaborated on a memoir of two very different sporting careers

Clare’s Podge Collins dejected after the All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kerry in Croke Park in 2016. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘I genuinely think it’s the best proposal and that is why it’s getting so much support’

Jack O’Connor celebrates Kerry’s victory in the 2009 All-Ireland final with Declan O’Sullivan . Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Returning Kerry manager believes his time with Kildare has improved him as a coach

Jack O’Connor is returning for a third stint as Kerry manager. Photograph: Inpho

Returning Kerry manager confirms that Paddy Tally will be part of his backroom team

The Meath executive voted narrowly, 8-7, not to recommend the incumbent Andy McEntee for a further year. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

If McEntee decides to hang tough his fate will be decided by the full county committee

Cathal McShane is nominated for an All Star despite not starting a game for Tyrone such was his impact off the bench. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tyrone duo Meyler and McGeary face challenge from Mayo’s Keegan for Footballer of the Year

GPA chief executive Tom Parsons: ‘We have a number of weeks to special congress and again it’s an educational journey for all our GAA administration and leadership.’ Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

All-Ireland championship under favoured proposal would be league-based on divisions

An ESRI study in 2018 showed that intercounty players were dedicating 31 hours a week to their involvement in Galeic games. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Workload on intercounty players must be key consideration of new championship proposals

Dessie Hutchinson in action  against Roanmore’s Dale Hayes during the Waterford hurling final. The Ballygunner man  scored 1-9 from play to claim the man of the match award. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ballygunner star believes Déise can reach another level and end long All-Ireland wait

Waterford’s Stephen O’Keeffe has announced his retirement. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Former All Star goalkeeper made announcement after Ballygunner victory

Ballygunner celebrate after winning the Waterford hurling title. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Waterford title goes the way of Darragh O’Sullivan’s men after impressive win

File photo of Glenn Ryan as Kildare under-21 manager. Photo: Morgan Treacy/ Inpho

Former captain will be joined by John Doyle, Dermot Early and Anthony Rainbow

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