Tier 2 Championship approved by GAA Special Congress

75.5% of delegates backed the Central Council motion

Tier 2 Championship approved by GAA Special Congress

From 2020, Gaelic football will have a second tier championship for the first time in 12 years after Special Congress backed the motion in Páirc Uí Chaoimh this afternoon,

In what can be described as a success for GAA president John Horan, 75.5% of delegates backed the Central Council motion, which calls for the qualifiers to comprise 16 teams and the lower 16 to enter the new T2 championship.

At Central Council earlier in the day, the decision was taken to debate Motion 2 first, which involved how the make-up of the proposed competition.

Tipperary insisted that Division 3 and 4 counties who don’t reach their provincial championship finals be determined as those at the end of the Championship year as opposed to those at the beginning and it received considerable 87.5% support.

The winners of the new knock-out competition in 2020 will qualify for the Sam Maguire Cup qualifiers the following season.

Former GAA president Seán Kelly, who saw through the previous second tier competition the Tommy Murphy Cup, endorsed the new championship structure and insisted RTÉ should show its semi-finals and final. Nickey Brennan, who held the office after Kelly, argued any second tier championship finals should replace the minor deciders as the curtain-raisers to the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cup finals.

Opposing the motion and expressing fear about how it will be marketed, Antrim chairman Ciarán McCavana had argued that their experience of hurling’s second tier competition the Joe McDonagh Cup was that many promises are made but not delivered on. He added there was not a top 16 in inter-county Gaelic football but a top four and cutting the number of teams in the Sam Maguire Cup would pave the way for pay-for-play.

Carlow chairman Seán Campion echoed Antrim’s scepticism about the tiered championship and said assurances given about the Joe McDonagh Cup were not forthcoming, claiming the All-Stars scheme was “a botched job”.

Prior to the vote, Horan revealed a text message from RTÉ Head of Sport Declan McBennett to a Croke Park staff member yesterday that he was confident the second tier competition would receive live coverage.

Several Division 4 counties such as Limerick, Sligo and Wicklow endorsed the motion, while the Gaelic Players Association secretary Seamus Hickey, like Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy, highlighted the fixtures review committee’s work and why Central Council was not prepared to wait for their proposals.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.