Páirc Uí Chaoimh set for weekend of quarter-finals if Cork involved

Páirc Uí Chaoimh could host separate All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-finals on July 22 and 23 should Cork lose Sunday’s Munster final to Clare.

Contingency plans are already believed to be in place in the event Kieran Kingston’s side fail to win in Semple Stadium.

Last month’s meeting of Central Council confirmed the quarter-final double-header will open the new 45,000-capacity stadium on Sunday fortnight. However, the presence of Cork in one of them would all but certainly ensure it is played as a standalone game due to demand.

Their match would likely place on the Sunday with the other quarter-final being staged in the stadium the day before, which may yet form part of another double-header involving Cork’s footballers who are scheduled to play their fourth round qualifier against Clare, Donegal, Mayo or Meath on July 22.

Fourth round backdoor fixtures are usually played at neutral venues but according to the master fixtures schedule they are determined by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) meaning the possibility of the footballers playing their last-12 game at home is a live possibility. They will be buoyed by their decision this week to fix Semple Stadium as the venue for the Tipperary-Dublin SHC qualifier game on Saturday.

Cork chairman Ger Lane yesterday dismissed a media report that Páirc Uí Chaoimh won’t be ready in time for the quarter-finals. He told RedFM that a report suggesting the county might have to forego hosting the matches was inaccurate. Control of the stadium is scheduled to be handed over to the county board on Friday.

Meanwhile, Freemount GAA club in North Cork has called on the Cork executive and the Páirc Uí Chaoimh steering committee to answer a series of questions about the redevelopment of the stadium.

In an email sent to members of the executive, Freemount secretary Willie Murphy claims that “county committee (club delegates to the Board) have received minimal information in relation to Páirc Uí Chaoimh since the development commenced”.

They have set out a number of queries, which they hope will be answered in advance of the board meeting later this month if not on the evening of the gathering itself. Among them are questions pertaining to the delay in completing the stadium in time to host last Sunday and this Sunday’s Munster senior finals and if the contractors are liable for financial penalties for not doing so.

The executive and steering committee are also asked what the final cost of completing the venue is estimated to be now that it is widely expected the bill will be larger than originally anticipated. Freemount also wants to ascertain how many premium seats have been sold, the status of the board’s pursuit of naming rights for the stadium and the situation regarding the appointment of a stadium manager.

Freemount additionally are seeking clarification on the appointment of the next county secretary as Frank Murphy’s contract is set to expire later this year. Willie Murphy writes: “We brought forward a motion to the last annual convention seeking that the appointment of the next county secretary should be managed by Croke Park so that an annual contribution of €30,000 could be received from Croke Park towards the cost of the secretary. It was ruled out of order on the basis that this was a decision for the management committee and the county committee. Croke Park have indicated that they will need to start the process of appointing the county secretary by the first week in September if they are requested to do so. Consequently, we consider that the process for appointing the next county secretary will now need to be ratified by the August county board meeting at the latest.

“We would therefore suggest that the proposed process for appointing the next county secretary is circulated in advance of the July or August county board meetings to give clubs an opportunity to consider it in advance of the meeting and then agree on the process at the county board meeting.”

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