Leinster chairman Martin Skelly has poured cold water on Dublin’s hopes of receiving provincial status for funding and administration.
The aim was included in Dublin’s ‘Blue Wave’ strategic report and chairman Andy Kettle reiterated the board’s desire to push it through earlier this week. Kettle said the county would be forwarding motions to Congress next year calling for provincial status on those very grounds having made it clear late last year that a county with one-fifth of the island’s population could not be treated as just one among 32 units.
The county chairman claimed they would shortly begin talks with the Leinster Council about obtaining a regular position on Coiste Bainisti while admitting that they have yet to lobby GAA officials and Skelly, for one, would appear to need some convincing.
“I think that might have been mentioned,” he said of the provincial hot potato. “I wonder how serious they are about the whole thing. There’s huge logistics and there are huge interactions between Dublin and Leinster. Obviously a huge amount of our resources go into (Dublin).
I do not think that this is what the vast majority of followers in the capital want and I don’t believe they are ready for that change.”
Meanwhile Skelly insists the GAA is ready to stand up to competing sporting attractions over the coming summer period.
Officials at yesterday’s Leinster Championship launch highlighted the various ticket packages on offer, even if there were no price reductions in 2012, while further focus was heaped on initiatives such as the Leinster GAA Roadshow and Leinster GAA TV.
“We are also very aware that there are other sporting events going on throughout the summer and we have to be up for that challenge.”
The Olympics may well be next door in London but of greater concern to the GAA – and to the provinces in particular given its June timeslot– is the European Championships, which will at least be over long before the various provincial hurling and football deciders.
The Leinster hurling final comes one week after the Euro 2012 final in Kiev and Skelly confirmed yesterday that the fixture will continue to be played in Croke Park for the foreseeable future.
“There are tremendous facilities (in Croke Park). It is our national stadium, there is a spin-off for us. We have signed up for that deal and committed to Croke Park for a certain number of days per annum. We did consider it a few years ago but the counties that were involved had no stomach for it. They wanted to come to Croke Park to play their Leinster final.”
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