Proposal to replace All-Ireland Intermediate Championship with U25 competition

The All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championship could be replaced by an inter-county competition limited to players aged 25 and under.
Proposal to replace All-Ireland Intermediate Championship with U25 competition

At last night’s Cork County Board meeting at Nemo Rangers, Munster Council delegate Marc Sheehan relayed details of the most recent meeting of the provincial council, which had featured strong support for a change to the current format.

With only Cork and Waterford in favour of a retention of the intermediate, a proposal by Limerick for the establishment of an U23 championship “gained a considerable amount of traction”, as Sheehan put it.

A compromise was reached in the form of an U25 championship, with regulations for that to be drawn up by the Munster Council. It’s likely that a proposal for a national competition will go before the GAA’s annual Congress in February.

Cork had actually adopted such a model for team selection in this year’s intermediate championship.

In his report, Central Council delegate Bob Ryan said that there had been “very little opposition” to proposed changes to the All-Ireland SFC at the council’s meeting, “but there’s a lot to happen yet between now and Congress. People mightn’t have been giving their cards away.”

Ryan also sought a motion in support of Between, a voluntary community human rights group, which is about to cease operations. In one of its final acts, Between is seeking the establishment of an independent examination of the 1971 Ballymurphy massacre in Belfast, as well as a public apology and a statement of innocence from the British government. This was passed unanimously.

Elsewhere, it was announced at the meeting that Mick Comyns had stepped down as county minor football selector, with his St Finbarr’s clubmate Jim O’Donoghue appointed in his stead.

For next year’s U17 competitions, John Considine (Sarsfields) will coach the Cork hurling team, with James McCarthy of Castlehaven in charge of the football side. Three selectors will be added in each code, with a number of these appointments finalised, but yet to be announced.

In transfer news, former Tipperary panellist Shane Bourke has been given clearance to join Douglas. Bourke, formerly of JK Brackens, won Munster medals in 2011, ’12 and ’15.

Following a meeting of clubs, there will be changes to the county leagues in 2017. Whereas this year, the ‘doubling up’ of championship games for league points was avoided, this practice will be allowed again, while clubs who give walkovers will be punished with the loss of home games the following year.

It was also unanimously decided to have five divisions in the football league from next year on, instead of the previous four-division system.

Earlier, extensive tributes were paid to former board chairman Mick Dolan, whose death 10 days ago had resulted in the meeting being postponed for a week.

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