Papal visit knock-on for Mayo club matches

The visit of Pope Francis to Knock at the end of August has impacted on club championship matches in Mayo.

As a result of the security arrangements for the Pope’s visit on Sunday, August 26, Mayo GAA chiefs have been forced to shelve plans to run off the second round of their senior and intermediate football championships that weekend. 

Club delegates have been told those games are now likely to go ahead on the weekend of September 8/9. 

If that does materialise, then 32 Mayo clubs will have waited 20 weeks between playing their first and second round championship matches.

“The commitment we gave was that we wouldn’t run with any games before the end of August,” said Mayo GAA CCC chairman, Seamus Tuohy.

“If the Pope does visit, and the county is in lockdown that weekend (August 25/26), the following weekend is All-Ireland football final weekend. A lot of people would want to go to Croke Park for the All-Ireland whether Mayo was involved or not.”

Elsewhere, there are five seniors — Sean Loftus, Brian Concannon, Thomas Monaghan, Jack Grealish and Evan Niland — on the Galway U21 team for their first Leinster U21 hurling championship fixture.

 The Tribesmen meet Offaly in this evening’s quarter-final at O’Connor Park. 

Offaly also have five senior players: Eoghan Cahill, Ben Conneely, Paddy Delaney, Liam Langton and Oisin Kelly.

Galway (Leinster U21 HC v Offaly): E Murphy (Tommy Larkins); I O’Shea (Athenry), F Burke (St Thomas), S Bannon (Clarinbridge); C Mulry (Abbeyknockmoy), M Hughes (Liam Mellows), S Loftus (Turloughmore); T Monaghan (Craughwell), J Grealish (Gort); S Bleahane (Ahascragh-Fohenagh), B Concannon (Killimordaly), C Fahy (Ardrahan); E Niland (Clarinbridge), R Murphy (Tommy Larkins), K Cooney (Sarsfields).

Offaly (Leinster U21 HC v Offaly): E Cahill (Birr); M Gilligan (Seir Kieran), B Conneely (St Rynagh’s), C O’Meara (Clara); R Connaughton (Carrig & Riverstown), P Delaney (Kinnitty), D Watkins (Birr); C O’Brien (Shamrocks), D Buckley (Clodiagh Gaels); B Duignan (Ballinamere), L Langton (Clodiagh Gaels), J Keenaghan (Clodiagh Gaels); C Langton (Clodiagh Gaels), O Kelly (Belmont), W Mooney (Shamrocks).

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