Croke Park talk dominates Leinster launch
Sport

Croke Park talk dominates Leinster launch

LEINSTER Council Chairman John Horan reckons there is ‘no point’ in making Dublin footballers play provincial games outside of Croke Park.

At Wednesday’s Leinster Championships launch Horan said:  “This year again we have this clamour to take games out of Croke Park. In my mind, it makes no sense to move games to a venue which will not be able to accommodate all of those who wish to attend. There will also be implications for concessions in such situations.

“Staging games in Croke Park offers us better opportunities in looking after both our older and younger, and our families, in terms of the concession packages we offer.

“I see no point in potentially locking people out of games while a stadium lies unused elsewhere.”

Dublin manager Jim Gavin was also asked about the issue.  “From the Dublin football team’s perspective, we’ll play and we’ve always played where we’re told to play,” Gavin said.

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“And there may be a bit more of an advantage for a team, too, that gets to spend a little bit more time together on the day – they get a chance to talk and to see how players are feeling rather than just meeting and going to Croke Park.”

Offaly manager Pat Flanagan criticised the fact that Dublin, who have won nine Leinster titles in 10 years, are accommodated at headquarters.  "You want to just go on the whole ethos of the GAA, it's supposed to be a fair competition," Flanagan said.

"I'm probably putting my neck on the line here, but when you play Dublin in Croke Park in every game, it's not a fair competition any more.

"Laois and Offaly would either be in Portlaoise or Tullamore; Westmeath and Offaly, it would be in Mullingar or Tullamore; Offaly and Longford, it's going to be in Pearse Park or Tullamore.  So why is that not applied to every county in Leinster?"