New second tier All-Ireland football championship to be called Tailteann Cup

"In ancient Ireland, our athletic and sporting prowess was celebrated every summer by the staging of the Tailteann Games, a festival that some scholars date as far back as 1600BC."

New second tier All-Ireland football championship to be called Tailteann Cup

The new second tier All-Ireland football championship will be called the Tailteann Cup.

GAA president John Horan at Congress this afternoon revealed the name of the trophy for the Division 3 and 4 teams who do not reach their respective provincial finals and therefore are not permitted entry into the qualifiers.

In his address, Horan said: “In ancient Ireland, our athletic and sporting prowess was celebrated every summer by the staging of the Tailteann Games, a festival that some scholars date as far back as 1600BC.

“A recent meeting of Ard Chomhairle (Central Council) has agreed to dedicate a new trophy for the Tier 2 senior football championship to be called the Tailteann Cup – a name that honours this link to Ireland’s sporting heritage and crowns modern day sporting heroes in one of our native games.

“This competition came out of a desire from several counties to have a championship that was inclusive and not exclusive. Far from being a radical new departure, it follows a tiered path that is well known in inter-county championship hurling, at club championship level, schools’ level and across our sister organisations where it has proven itself to be effective.

“Yet, for all of that, it still does not deny a county a chance at aiming for the Sam Maguire Cup if they are good enough.”

Horan admitted the Páirc Uí Chaoimh costs saga has proven to be "one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my time as Uachtarán”. Like GAA director general Tom Ryan did in his annual report, he insisted Cork would have to come up with their own solutions to address the stadium debt.

“I want to assure the membership who have concerns and who think there will be a bail out for the difficulties at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, that this will not happen. The resolution to the problems in Cork will be found from within Cork.”

On the subject of the GAA’s relationship with the GPA, Horan addressed the fundraising talks that have yet to be finished.

“When negotiations are concluded, it is vital that ourselves and the GPA work together to lessen the demands on players’ lives and lessen the cost burden on county boards created by the inter-county game.

“Neither the GPA nor the GAA at national level ‘own’ these players. They are club players above all else and their inter-county career is something that is a passing phase in what should hopefully be a life-long association with the GAA.”

After difficulties in counties like Cork, Galway and Mayo, Horan warned the GAA’s governance standards have to improve across the board.

“This does not just apply to the offices at Croke Park. It concerns us all and without scaremongering, slip ups will be scrutinised and publicised and our amateur, volunteer ethos will not be a defence.

“We have been involved in a process for a considerable time to examine if we are fully fit for purpose in this regard and will continue in this vein. It is our intention shortly to enlist external assistance and expertise to ensure that the steps and changes we are overseeing will help us achieve our aims in this area.

"Good governance cannot be a slogan. It needs to be something that is self-evidenced by actions and not merely words.

“Governance was the central theme of the work which took place last January when more than 250 officers from across the 32 counties attended our county officer training day at Croke Park and our commitment in this regard should be under no doubt."

Horan highlighted that due to the lack of concerts in Croke Park this year and without a replay, the GAA’s income would come down by €6m in 2020.

Meanwhile, Dublin will play just one of their Super 8 games in Croke Park should they qualify for the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final phase this year.

Dublin supported the motion, which received 90% of delegates’ support, and stipulates Croke Park can’t be considered a neutral venue in phase one of the Super 8. Mayo, Donegal and Munster secretary Kieran Leddy also spoke in favour of the proposal.

Horan revealed the Dublin-Tipperary challenge game to mark the Bloody Sunday centenary anniversary this November will see players from every other county involved.

“The footballers of Dublin and Tipperary will don those distinctive sky blue and Grangemockler green and white jerseys and in addition to these two teams, we will invite every other county to nominate a representative to join them and play alongside them. Together we will finish the match that was halted by gunfire 100 years ago.”

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