Is it time for the GAA to ditch the interprovincial football and hurling competitions?
IF GAA CHIEFS were looking for evidence that the interprovincial competitions have a viable and long-term future, attendances at last weekend’s semi-finals in both codes will have left them disappointed.
It’s estimated that 75 people were present in Nenagh for the Connacht-Leinster hurling semi-final, with the figure at Semple Stadium for the Munster-Ulster clash on Sunday barely topping the 100 mark.
Barely 100 turned out at Parnell Park to watch Ulster beat Munster in the football semi-finals, with another paltry attendance present at the same venue for the Connacht’s victory against Leinster.
Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO
Those poor numbers beg the question – have the interprovincial competitions run their course?
The players involved continue to insist that it’s an honour to represent their respective provinces, and with to continue doing so.
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But spectators are generally voting with their feet, and GAA officials are sure to examine the viability of the format in the New Year, before deciding whether to continue with the competition once known as the Railway Cup.
This week, Leinster hurling manager Ciarán Hetherton questioned why spectators are being charged into the games, while Munster hurling selector and former Waterford star John Mullane suggested donating the proceeds of tomorrow evening’s final against Leinster to charity.
Munster manager Anthony Daly, meanwhile, is proposing that the interprovincial finals be taken abroad, on tours of duty with the Liam MacCarthy and Sam Maguire Cups.
But what do you think? Is there any way to revive the ailing interprovincial series?
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