Mattie Murphy says Galway hurling has paid the price for its “unconditional surrender” to Leinster. And he is not surprised at the treatment of the county by the eastern province.
Murphy, the most successful minor hurling manager with six All-Ireland titles, had always been opposed to the county joining the Leinster SHC in 2009 without the guarantee of home games and the minor and U21s being excluded from the agreement.
“It’s a pity we couldn’t go back to all them things myself and others would have said at the time.
“We never had any rights — why did they think we were going to get matches in Pearse Stadium? You can never have any rights when you unconditionally surrender. We remember 1916 this year and the prisoners had no rights at that time and the prisoners of Connacht have no rights now.
“The unfortunate thing is had we stood tall that time the GAA would have been forced into doing the right thing for hurling and changing the championship structure.”
Galway’s annual convention next Monday will hear a Liam Mellows proposal opening up the possibility of a move to the Munster SHC. Murphy, though, does not support the idea.
“I’m not sure going into Munster is the right thing for hurling. Simply, the top hurling teams should be facing each other every year. You could have group stages with home and away games for every team and the best teams going into the knockout stages. If teams have to be seeded, then they have to be seeded.”
Murphy says Galway’s exclusion from the minor and U21 Leinster championships is just as galling as the lack of home advantage. “I’ve never been happy with it. People were saying ‘you’re going in at an advantage not having to play in a province’ and then when we were winning them they were saying ‘you’re not being tested’. But we were usually beating Munster or Leinster winners. How could people say we were after winning a soft All-Ireland?”
Murphy has a major issue with the power retained by provincial councils, particularly those who he feels haven’t done enough for hurling.
“You have two there at the moment where hurling is the poorest of poor relation to football and you’ll never get anything for hurling through Congress because they’re like turkeys and they won’t vote for Christmas. There is no way in the world they are the slightest bit interested in promoting hurling.”
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