Imokilly divisional board secretary Michael O’Brien feels a Glen Rovers motion for next week’s Cork convention is a knee-jerk reaction to the East Cork side’s recent success.
The Glen are seeking for Cork’s bye-law 41 – which allows the county committee to give permission to divisional committees to enter teams in the senior hurling and football championships – to be deleted at the convention on Saturday.
The city club also have a motion which would prevent third-level club sides from using players who also play for senior clubs in counties outside of Cork which, if passed, would have to go before the GAA’s annual Congress.
Imokilly have won the last two SHC titles but no other divisional side claimed the Seán Óg Murphy Cup since the barony’s last two-in-a-row, 1997 and 1998. O’Brien feels that it would be a short-sighted move to prevent divisional sides from competing.
“Obviously, we’re completely against it,” he said. “Divisional teams have been there since 1924 and if you count the number of championships won by Glen Rovers (27) compared to those won by all of the divisions combined (eight), there’s a big difference.
“Just because Imokilly are on a roll at the moment, it shouldn’t be a factor. In 2017, Erin’s Own had chances to beat us and if they had this wouldn’t be an issue at all.
“Why should a junior or intermediate club hurler be deprived the chance to play at senior and win a county. Séamus Harnedy and Ciarán O’Brien are from St Ita’s, one of the smallest clubs in the division, they’ve never won an East Cork junior, but they can go out and play for Imokilly and win senior medals.” O’Brien also feels that divisional sides’ success has a knock-on effect for Cork.
“When we won in 1997 and 1998, a lot of those players had an influence on Cork’s All-Ireland in 1999,” he said.
“As well as that, clubs like Cloyne, Castlelyons, Killeagh and Bride Rovers became senior soon after. It was similar last year, Aghada and St Catherine’s both won county titles with players who had done well with Imokilly.
“I think the clubs of Imokilly will be against this, the fact that they let players play with the division three or four days before their own championships spoke volumes.”
St Ita’s also have a motion for convention which would have to go before Congress. The club are in favour of drawn All-Ireland semi-finals in hurling and football going to replays rather than extra time being played. Currently, this is only the case for provincial and All-Ireland finals.
The county board executive will also bring motions regarding transfer bye-laws. As well as modifying the re-grading of players by clubs, delegates will also vote on changing the phrase “family residence” to “permanent residence”, reducing the 96-week ‘sitting out’ period to 48, allowing players from senior or intermediate clubs transfer to any junior side in the same division and allowing a player to transfer to the first club of his father.