Curran: Dubs’ extra game in Croker ‘not right or fair’

Shane Curran

Former Roscommon goalkeeper Shane Curran is adamant Dublin having two Super 8 games in Croke Park is “not right or fair” but he doesn’t expect his county to contest it.

Roscommon must travel to face Dublin in Croke Park on July 20 or 21, a week after both provincial champions open their Group 1 campaigns at their home venues, which will be Dr Hyde Park and Croke Park respectively.

In February, 64% of Congress delegates voted against Donegal’s motion preventing a team from using Croke Park as a home venue. 

Dublin GAA CEO John Costello slammed the proposal as “mean-spirited” and “divisive”.

However, Donegal chairman Mick McGrath maintained the issue was not going to go away and Galway manager Kevin Walsh has gone as far as to call on the GAA to move All-Ireland semi-finals out of Croke Park.

Curran remarked: “The whole Kildare thing last year in Newbridge then escalated into a Dublin thing but we are where we are with it. I don’t see there being any change. 

There hasn’t been much talk about it in Roscommon but it’s only being realised now Dublin have a first Super 8 game there and then play us there.

“It’s an unfair advantage and for it to be considered neutral is not right. We know how good a team they are. The fear is teams that have taken a battering from them have been slow to recover. 

"It’s a real dent to morale and physically and mentally it can be draining when you have a big defeat.

“With the best will in the world, it still requires huge reserves of energy but when you roll over in Croke Park it seems worse. 

"I don’t know if it would happen were the game to be in Mullingar. The same result alright but it wouldn’t be as damaging.

“The county board have their own job to do but they find themselves in a precarious situation. Croke Park are the paymasters and that’s the reality of it. 

Nobody is going to rock the boat. We want to be competing against Dublin but trying to do it on fair terms and it’s beneficial to them to have two games at home.

“That’s not right or fair but the powers-that-be want to keep Dublin in Dublin. It puts a lot of onus on us winning our one home game now.”

Meanwhile, all four Round 3 All-Ireland SFC games will take place this Saturday evening. 

Sky Sports will televise live coverage of the Kildare-Tyrone clash in Newbridge at 5pm followed by the meeting of Mayo and Armagh in Castlebar at 7pm.

The winners from those and the Westmeath-Clare and Laois-Offaly qualifiers will be on one side of the draw for Round 4 on Monday morning, the four provincial runners-up being on the other.

Repeat pairings don’t apply to the Super 8 but they do in the backdoor, meaning Meath can’t face either Laois or Offaly and Cavan can’t play Armagh.

Next weekend’s GAA fixtures

Saturday:

SFC Rd 3 Qualifiers — Kildare v Tyrone, Newbridge, 5pm (Sky Sports), Westmeath v Clare, Mullingar, 6pm, Laois v Offaly, Portlaoise, 7pm, Mayo v Armagh, Castlebar, 7pm (Sky Sports).

Sunday:

Munster SHC final — Limerick v Tipperary, Gaelic Grounds, 2pm.

Munster MHC final: Clare v Limerick, Gaelic Grounds, 11.30am.

Leinster SHC final: Wexford v Kilkenny, Croke Park, 4pm;

Joe McDonagh Cup final: Laois v Westmeath, Croke Park, 1.45pm.

Leinster MHC final: Kilkenny v Wexford, Croke Park, 11.30am.

GAA podcast: Should Kerry sweep? Cork binning excuses. The adoration of Michael Murphy. Tripping Dublin

Mike Quirke reviews the GAA weekend with Oisín McConville, Donncha O'Connor and Tony Leen.

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