Kerry will repay all home games owed to Cork, according to the Kingdom’s chairman, Tim Murphy.
Fitzgerald Stadium was yesterday confirmed as the venue for the Munster final following a statement from Cork officials that Páirc Uí Chaoimh would not be ready in time for the July 2 decider.
Kerry already owed Cork one home game from when demolition work began at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, that being the 2015 Munster SFC replay, which was staged in Killarney.
Given yesterday’s development, they will now owe Cork two home fixtures.
This means that, beyond 2017, the next three championship meetings between the counties should be played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, as it is Cork’s turn to claim home advantage when the home-and-away arrangement between the pair comes back into play.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh was the venue for the 2014 Munster final, with Fitzgerald Stadium staging the drawn 2015 provincial decider.
The latter fixture fell under the home-and-away arrangement, despite the fact construction had begun on Cork’s premier venue.
So, once the 2015 replay and next month’s final have been repaid, it is Cork’s turn to play host.
Murphy said games owed were not discussed when he spoke with Cork County Board chairman Ger Lane yesterday afternoon, but he did state Kerry would honour the games that Cork were due.
“There is a long-standing home-and-away arrangement between the counties and that will be honoured by Kerry,” said Murphy.
Murphy phoned Lane on Sunday evening to enquire how work was progressing on Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
His Cork counterpart told Murphy there had been a meeting with the contractors on Monday morning to determine whether the redevelopment would be finished by the first Sunday of July.
“Ger phoned after this meeting to say it would not be ready. We, here in Kerry, were happy for the game to be played at Fitzgerald Stadium. “Ger and the Cork board were agreeable to this.”
Murphy continued: “We are always delighted when the Munster football final comes to Killarney. It is a special day. It is a great boost for the town of Killarney.
"We have a fantastic team at Fitzgerald Stadium and I have no doubt in my mind that they will have the pitch, as they always do, in pristine condition for the game. I don’t envisage any problems there.”
A statement released by Cork County Board expressed disappointment that Páirc Uí Chaoimh would not be ready to host the Munster football and hurling finals.
The handover by contractors Sisk to the board has been pushed back from June 18 to July 7. The first game in the new stadium is earmarked for mid-July.
“Clearly, we are disappointed, but we want everything to be pristine before the stadium hosts its first major games,” said Lane.
“We want to be certain that all the expectations for this tremendous new facility will be fully met and we are satisfied that this will be the case by mid-July.”
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