Early 2017 decision on Munster finals

The possibility of both Munster finals being staged at the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2017 will be discussed early next year, according to Munster Council chairman Jerry O’Sullivan.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh will host the senior footballer decider if the final pairing pits Cork against Kerry, while there are many who believe the hurling decider should be awarded to the Cork venue in the year that it re-opens its doors following a €80m facelift.

“It will be the New Year before that will be finalised,” O’Sullivan admitted.

“There are discussions going on. People are talking about the possibility of staging both Muster finals at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, it being the particular year for Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“If Cork and Kerry progress to the football final, then that will be played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. That game is fixed for the first weekend in July and I’ve no doubt that Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be ready by then.”

O’Sullivan believes Tipperary’s victory over Cork in last year’s Munster SFC — their first since 1944 — and subsequent run to the All-Ireland semi-final will instil massive confidence in the province’s perceived lesser lights.

“What Tipperary have achieved in 2016 must serve as a boost for the other counties, the counties who are lagging a small bit behind. What they did must give great hope to every county that they too can improve and can compete with the best.

“It has shaken up this particular championship, because in previous years it would have been taken as a given, understandably so, that Cork and Kerry would meet in the Munster final.

“That is certainly not the case anymore. It would be great to see Limerick and Waterford making an impression in the football.

“What Tipperary did in the championship caught the imagination of the public and the more teams you have with a chance of succeeding, the more spectators will respond.

“From the Council’s point of view, we hope the attendances will increase in 2017 because they are the lifeblood of the organisation, our only source of income.”

O’Sullivan, coming to the end of his first year as provincial council chairman, wants the scarcity of club games during the summer addressed.

“We’ve had no discussion with the CPA (Club Players Association), but we’re open to talking to anyone. The club is the foundation of the GAA. That still holds true.”

MUNSTER COUNCIL 2016 AWARD WINNERS:

Charlie McCarthy (Cork) – Hurling Hall of Fame, John Quane (Limerick) – Football Hall of Fame, Micheál Mac Conmara (Clare) – Special Service Award – contribution to Scór, Michael Hurley (Cork) – Under 21 Football, Austin Gleeson (Waterford) – Under 21 Hurling, David Conroy (Clare) – Intermediate Hurling, Jamie Lee (Limerick) – Junior Football, Jake Morris (Tipperary) – Minor Hurling, David Clifford (Kerry) – Minor Football, Niamh Mulcahy (Limerick) – Camogie, Rena Buckley (Cork) – Ladies Football, Aishling O’Keeffe (Cork) – Handball, Ballyea (Clare) – Club, John McGrath (Tipperary) – Senior Hurling, Paul Geaney (Kerry) – Senior Football, Michael Ryan (Tipperary) – Manager.


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