Mid-May start now looks on the cards

Photo: Spencer Hotel

The government’s announcement yesterday evening on the reopening of various parts of the economy and society finally gives us a likely timeframe to look forward to from a GAA perspective. That’s the middle of May, when National League action is set to start, most likely on the weekend of 15th/16th May.

The government announced yesterday that collective inter-county training would be allowed to re-commence on 19th April. It was always the plan that counties would be given a month to prepare for the start of competitive action, hence the likely start of the Leagues in the middle of May.

It’s widely expected that what the GAA will opt for is a compacted, regionalised format for the Leagues – comprising no more than five matches for each county – and, like last year, that this would be followed by an old-fashioned straight knockout Championship.

That’s not, however, set in stone as yet. John Fogarty reports in today’s Irish Examiner (here) that the GAA are expected to publish a revised master fixtures schedule for the year at the end of next week. When they do this, it’s expected to contain details both of the format of the Leagues and the Championship for this year and the fixture details for both competitions over the coming months.

So, there’s a bit more waiting to be done yet before we get a clear fix on what the football year is going to look like. But at least we now have a clear idea about when the action looks set to get going this year and we can start to look forward to seeing some live football once again, even if, like last year, the matches will once again all have to be viewed from the sofa. Still, as we also know from last year, this is immeasurably better than no matches at all.

81 thoughts on “Mid-May start now looks on the cards

  1. Thank God there is a glimmer of light at the end of that tunnel. We have a lot to look forward to with the arrival of so many newcomers last year and the prospect of more coming – and what about those of the year previous? Surely the likes of Fionn McDonagh, Ciarán Treacy, James Carr and James McCormack cannot be forgotten about so quickly? I also hope that the GAA can find room for qualifiers and the proposed Tailteann Cup even in a truncated championship season. The Tailteann Cup would cut one round from the qualifiers and if the championship started on Jun 19/20 there would be time to finish it in August.
    Will there be any underage football next year? I have not seen or heard any mention of it. Surely it would be a huge disservice to our young players to ignore them for a full year on top of the shortened 2020 season.
    Club championship could start for most counties early in August with the champions of those counties playing into August entering provincial club championships at semi final stage.

  2. Bring ’em all on. Newbies are of real interest, but scoring returns should be a key ingredient.

  3. Great for underage to be able to get back on the pitch the 26th April . Clubs, parents and parishes need it

  4. Hard to know if it’s an April fools joke on the front of today’s Indo ?

  5. I doubt it’s a wind-up, Paddy – good scoop by the Indo in fairness. Report for those who haven’t seen it is here. They’re hardly the only county squad at this, though.

  6. I highly doubt they are the only team at it. A very stupid move considering the media spotlight on them and the circular that went around Tuesday evening from the GAA reminding GAA members that training is still off limits.

    When you’re a public figure you’re held to a higher standard of conduct. I don’t think this would have happened under Jim Gavin’s watch.

  7. Hard to believe they would be that naive to train fairly openly like that.
    We will have to wait and see – but I think myself it could be an April fool’s joke.

  8. Lads cant see how this would be an April fools, players had been named in a national newspaper breaking regulations, theres no joke there. But as said above they are hardly the only county at this and I’d include our own in that.

  9. Funny how the timing coincides with 1st April, i wouldn’t be surprised if the Dubs are training at DCU St Claire’s for the past few weeks, we hear the noise while out walking in the evenings, any details from other Mayo’s here in Dublin ?

    They will get away with this like everything else.

  10. Plenty of well hidden Gaa grounds in Dublin, former grounds of 3rd level colleges and now being used by Gaa clubs, a few close to the now quiet Dublin Airport.
    Any thoughts on this Willie Joe ?

  11. None in particular, Mayo88, aside from the fact that there are plenty of well-hidden GAA grounds around the country. I’d be very surprised if they’re the only county squad doing this.

  12. Willie Joe – your comment that ‘ they’re hardly the only county at it’ is in my opinion not helpful . You have info or not. Your comment minimises the serious of the breach by the Dubs -. I’m sure this wasn’t your intention.

  13. Heiio, At flrst my thoughts were vlndlctlve but after a few mins they became more charltabie.

    Why would players iie Brlan Fenton and Johnny Cooper bother golng out on a dark mornlng to piay football? Who would bother to report them?

    They must have been starved of something.

    Did the nosey Parker have a grudge?

    Good luck to them.

  14. Am surprised, at the Dubs, but shouldn’t be really.. I actually hope that Dublin aren’t actually thrown out of the league and championship.. But Concidering the sacrifices so many have been making now for over a year, can the GAA or indeed the Government ignore it? .And you know how the attitude, that sadly is prevalent in society , ‘if they can get away with that, why can’t I get away with this? ‘ goes.. A very slippery slope…. The GAA could demote Dublin to Division Two and promote us to Division One.. That’s just an April fool’s day joke is case anyone thinks I’m serious. .. I genuinely think that if a smaller County team were caught doing this, they could very well be thrown out of the championship or league, .. But the GAA lost so much money in the last year, they can hardly afford to lose their biggest Cash Cow .. and that’s in part assuming that Crowds would actually come back at some stage this year.. nothing certain about that either.. Not a good day for the GAA

  15. Mayoforever – “The serious of the breach” are you for real!! It was a couple of lads doing some early morning training outside. Now I hear the Gardai are investigating we all need to get a grip. It astonishing what an over reaction this is getting, the country has way more serious issues too many to mention, yet this story gets the front page in the national newspaper.

  16. I think many are all forgetting there is a complete BAN on Sports gatherings since early Jan, this includes groups of 2 upwards.

    Kids have not met up to play since before Christmas.
    What happened to the Mayo backroom staff that should not have attended the All Ireland final, they were severely punished by the Gaa, this was in December when there was no level 5 lockdown in place.

    It seems to me that many of the Mayo supporters have given up completely.
    This is the ideal opportunity to get the Dubs suspended for a good number of months.

    Your comment Willie Joe is ridiculous and making light of the situation, are you sure they are all at it ? I doubt it.

    Why should the Dubs be an exception to the rule ?

  17. If the GAA goes with a consistent approach, they will apply the Paddy Tally precedence, i.e. a 12 week ban reduced to 4 on appeal. This would let the offenders back to collective training on April 28th.
    Or maybe they would go with the Seamus Woulfe precedence, i.e. spend weeks talking about it (while no action is taken), get a few high up heads to look at it and let them off with a bit of finger wagging.
    Regardless, I can’t see any action of consequence being taken.

  18. What I said was that I’d be very surprised if they’re the only county doing this. That’s just an observation, I’m not making light of it at all, nor am I making any claims about who might or might not be doing the same, I’m merely expressing my opinion that they’re unlikely to be the only ones. The difference with Dublin, though, is that they were caught, red-handed by the looks of it, and so the ball is now in the GAA’s court to act on it.

  19. Mayo88 – Are you seriously supporting banning a county team for a breach of Covid regulations by SOME of the players. There has been no evidence that this session was approved by management. Even it it was sanctioned the Cork team were not suspended. If we have Mayo supporters advocating a team getting banned it is a sad state of affairs. Yes they should be punished but banning them, I give up!!!

  20. I agree with Mayo88 & forever, there is no proof this is happening country wide. I sense there is a fear of punishing the Dubs in case it looks like sour grapes. They should get similar or tougher to what Down and Cork got, the GAA need to make a statement of intent on this, otherwise they’re a laughing stock!

  21. I’m not sure there’ll be any fear of punishing them, Puckout, and, as you say, the Cork and Down punishments provide the precedent for this. Something along those lines would seem to be appropriate in this case.

  22. Mayoforever – I never said Covid 19 was not serious. What you said was the seriousness of the breach. In my opinion lads in an outdoor environment training is not a serious breach regardless of the county. The rule is completely crazy, when you see League of Ireland back playing.

  23. Mayohusband – that’s why we’re still stuck in lockdown because of that attitude. Shure it’s only a few lads doing a bit of training. You can see that sense of entitlement around the country with weddings, funerals and marquees in back gardens. Rules are for the little people not us .

  24. Sorry dooniver show me the evidence that outdoor non contact outdoor training is the same as indoor wedding or funeral completely different apples and oranges. As I said yes they broke the rules and punishment will be given but we need a little perspective. I wonder if it was the Wexford footballers or Mayo Hurlers would it make the front page of a national newspaper?

  25. Dublin GAA have now announced that Dessie Farrell has been suspended for 12 weeks. No word yet on what the GAA itself will do, though it looks like they’ve been beaten to the draw by Parnell Park.

  26. Mayohusband – I agree. The experts admit the risk of transmission outside in an open field is extremely small.

    Is nine lads out in an open field more dangerous than going into Tesco these days? I see both parents with kids running around the place in packed supermarkets every day….people really are stupid.

  27. I spoke to a guy in Diblin today and was horrified to hear that he knew of a family where two people died as a result of getting Covid19 virus. I am in shock all say because of this, as I was or a person that was a bit sceptical about this Virus, not anymore.

    12 week ban for the manager is a load of shite.

    I will standby all things that I write here, it is one rule for the home team and another for all Counties outside Dublin.

    I would be very confident that there was training sessions held in DCU St Claire’s this past 2 weeks.

  28. I think part of the point about the danger of the training is that the ball itself can be a COVID vector. Spit, sweat, etc on it and it passed round from hand to hand amongst everyone. More dangerous with a ball than just jogging in company. But anyhow the rules are there for all and they should be role models, and if one says some breaches are less serious than others then it throws the whole thing open to people making up their own minds about which rules they should follow and which they don’t have to bother with, which is no good.

  29. Mayohusband – regardless of what you think are low risk, the rules are there for all. I could not attend funerals for relatives and friends because I adhered to the rules. As I said one rule for the little people and another for the entitled (who are given a free ride by the ‘Ah sure…’ apologists )

  30. We need to hear more from the media, RTE, TV3, all radio stations, Croke Park and the players involved.

    This is the time for the new Gaa President to lay down his authority.

  31. Why Mayo 88 because it is Dublin? Hope you were as vocal when Cork did the same thing in January. Same punishment should be dished out for the same offense, regardless of the county.Cork manager got 12 weeks what are you proposing for Dublin manager??

  32. As far as I understand, in the case of the 3 Mayo backroom team members. The individuals entered Croke Park without the knowledge of the Mayo county board. So the county board dealt with the matter in house, and the individuals took responsibility.

    It seems like this incident was organised by the group, so the GAA should intervene, rather than leaving the punishment up to themselves. In my opinion, the individual players should be sanctioned, as they are role models within the sport.

  33. 12 week ban is fair considering Cork manager got the same and as Dublin issued the ban it wont be contested. I’d say the GAA will issue their own ban of 12 weeks, the only outstanding issue is when the ban commences, with immediate effect or from when collective training officially starts.

  34. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if other teams have had some sort of group training sessions. I cannot say if they have or they haven’t.

    I’m sure the players in the spotlight are getting regularly tested and no big threat of spreading or catching the virus either.

    I don’t think that’s the real issue. The issue is they got caught breaking the rules and guidelines.

    Pre-emtive sanctions from within is not the way these things should be handled. Token heads on spikes in village squares is not the way this needs to be dealt with.

    When Dublin wanted Diarmuid Connolly reinstated to their team some years ago they fought tooth and nail to have him back. When Dublin wanted Lee Keegan to be a referees marked man they blackened his reputation for weeks before that particular match. Dessie getting benched is all about aesthetics. It looks good, but is it a real punishment ? I don’t think so.

    A token managerial suspension is what Dublin want, and it’s on their terms.

    The ” sure what harm were they doing ” argument, does not cut the mustard.

    The Gaa need to take severe action over the rules breach. Not because it’s Dublin but any group that break the rules.

    I recall club championship matches having to be replayed and players ruled ineligible to play in their county club championships because they had played in a competition in North America months previous. They had to attend Connacht council meetings due to the fact they had played months earlier in America. They were deemed to have broken the rules and had to pay the Piper.

    In my opinion due to the nature of why these rules and guidelines were implemented, this is a far more serious breach. Any team stepping outside the rules and guidelines should be dealt with harshly, and not with a penalty they decide is sufficient but with a penalty that reflects the seriousness of the rules that were broken and these penalties should be given down by an independent body.

    Where the hell are the players welfare body on all this ?

    Pandemic rules breaches has already cost careers, illnesses and deaths. Deciding one’s own punishment is not the way forward and is no example to send.

  35. @Revellino, as I have been saying for a long time it’s all too cosy between Dublin and the Gaa.
    Look at the boss of the GPA a former Dublin player, we have heard very little from this organisation for a few years.
    Something rotten with the whole close setup.
    Independent my ass.

    All Counties probably afraid to speak out as a threat we funding may come from headquarters.

  36. Aah The Dubs again.
    They are only a medium size county with a small population and limited resources.. so they need all the help they can get including bending the rules again !!

  37. What is the practical effect of a ban/suspension on a team manager. Ok, he cannot be on the sideline during a match but he can be in the stand communicating with his fellow mentors. Indeed some managers prefer this position. Maybe in the present situation that would not be feasible as he would be too obvious with no crowds present.
    Regards setting the Cork manager’s ban setting the precedent I would think that would not be a runner. The Cork offence was the first and at a time when we were not in a L5 lockdown. Croke Park had not issued any edicts on breaking the Covid rules. The Cork players met in the open without any effort at concealment. If I were part of the Croke Park enforcers I would be seeking to have all the mobile phones of the Dublin management team handed over for inspection before deciding what action should be taken. I would also be asking why the individual players should escape sanction. They are adults, know the situation we are in and can hardly say they were unaware of the ban on group training. The Gardai should also be looking into this to see if any of the players concerned broke the 5k travel rule.
    But this is Ireland and sure we’ll find a loophole somewhere.

  38. The problem I have with this is very simple, do the Dubs think they have the right to punish their players or manager and that will be all ok with Croke Park.
    If this is the case and the Gaa take no action on all the PLAYERS involved then teams should pull out of this years action.
    A strong marker needs to be laid down.

    This is the way it has been in Dublin since 8th Jan,
    Most cnstruction is closed down.
    5km travel enforced
    Children not meeting up for play dates
    Very little shops opened
    Masks worn in food shops, and in Schools when Teachers and children went back a few weeks ago
    No training of any kind in all sports.

    “We are all in this together”, let’s see how true this statement is.
    We are in a level 5 lockdown.

  39. It’s amazing the reaction across forums. Guys who were calling from heads in Golf gate. Beacon Hospital scandal etc are saying sure it was only a few lads kicking a ball and what harm is it doing and there’s big crowds in Tesco and Dunnes etc The fact is that these fellows broke the rules that so many are abiding by in order to suppress the virus. That is basically giving two fingers to all those who have been compliant. I don’t know one person who is not fed up of the restrictions but I know hundreds who continue to abide by them. Whether this was Dublin Cork or Mayo is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it was plain wrong. I don’t really know or care what punishment they should get, but what annoys me is that people who look for heads to roll at the least excuse suddenly decide this sort of thing is excusable. It’s not. This is the sort of idiocy that continues to allow the virus to spread. These players and their manager should have known better.

  40. Yes, I took the lenient vlew about a few payers kicking a ball on a dark mornlng. Now I get the point that these guys should have known better.

    It was organised and a bad example to others. Their motlve may have been good. Mea culpa.

  41. Suspensions should start from the date of resumption of training. Players and coaches should be suspended. Investigation should start immediately. Dublin are trying to buy a number of weeks. By suspension of Farrell are they saying he organised this. If he did there had to be 3 or 4 other groups training. Fenton hardly in need or special training.

  42. We now have former Dublin players giving their opinion on Google today, why are other guys keeping so quiet, they love the limelight and have been on TV for years.
    What is the opinion of Kevin McStay, Colm O Rourke, Pat Spillane, Des Cahill etc ? all employed by RTE.

    All waiting to see what happens before jumping in.

  43. I noticed that Mayo88. Radio silence from most prominent pundits on this.

  44. Excellent post Revellino..It really is all about aesthetics as far as Dessie Farrell’s suspension is concerned.
    It’s barely a blip to them and in reality what does it affect?
    David Brady spoke yesterday on the topic and basically admitted he thought alot of counties were at the same thing..When pressed further he started back pedalling.
    Can’t see the GAA being too heavy handed with the situation.if Im honest.

  45. On another item, I see online that Mayo Gaa have given the McHale Park pitch upgrade to a local firm, did this same firm do the full works on this surface in the past few years?

    Keeping it local whatever the outcome.

  46. Wonder what the ‘bold’ Joe Brolly has to say on this ‘ Role, Humility etc’……

  47. Well isn’t it strange
    How quick small things change
    And it’s not always been for the better

    When they knew the cameras were on
    They gave the boot room a glàn
    And then tore up the guideline rules letter.

    Humility, well does it
    Exist in all guises
    From the above its sure hard to tell

    The next time they train
    They better all wear disguises
    Or poor Dessie may end up in hell.

  48. Hats off to the Rossies! They have got their house in order, the Committee appointed by Croke Park has been stood down, Club Rossie have raised a mouthwatering 2.1 million euros.and plans for a Centre of Excellence. Meanwhile the clubs in Mayo are crucified with levies for that debt. Any word on how many tiles are sold to date???

  49. @Revellino.. Great to see the poetry is back, .. PS totally agree with you as regards the semantics on how Dublin would like this to be handled.

  50. I was angry when I saw the pictures of the training in the paper the other morning.

    I wondered then how would I have felt if it was a group of our own lads that had been pictured ? I would have been angry and a bit embarrassed on top of that.

    Why would a team go out training when all teams were told they were not allowed to start training until a specific date ?

    The answer is to gain an unfair advantage on all the other teams. An unfair advantage is a nice way of putting it, but is it not a form of cheating ?
    Well of course it is.

    How should cheating be dealt with ?

    If you step over a lane line in an Olympic final ?
    You’re gone. Disqualified.

    False start ?
    Gone. Disqualified.

    Extra golf club in the bag ?
    You loose the tournament.

    Make a mistake signing the score card ?
    You loose the tournament.

    These examples aren’t even intentional efforts to gain an advantage, they are not cheating examples, they are mistakes and yet the penalties are severe.

    Bear in mind that this is the County that raised holy hell about which end of a pitch we went to for our pre game kick about in the national stadium. Or I thought it was supposed to be the National Stadium.

    We were lambasted for our treasonous act, yes by Dublin, for going to one end of a football pitch rather than the other on a pitch that was supposed to be as much ours as theirs.

    We had broken another of those rules, you know the rules, the ones that aren’t rules, in the stadium that isn’t the National stadium against a team that never has unfair advantages over every other team in the Country.

    I might set up a go fund fund me page to pay for the Dubs legal defense against these scurrilous claims, that in some way they might have attempted to gain an unfair advantage. Right after I go and listen to ” Don’t cry for me Argentina ” again.

    Have we still not realised how humble our great foes are, and we all know humble doesn’t need an unfair advantage. They are too good for that. Natural talent.

    By jaysus no. Not even a Pandemic can stop them winning their seventh in a row. Pure raw talent.

    I look forward to the ” Country Gob Shite 2021 Rules book ” which should be going to press very soon.

    Dublin will be circulating copies to each County to help grow the game, show us all where we are going wrong and there is a bonus chapter on how become more humble.

  51. Some people here often say that Pairc Tailteann is one of the best pitch surfaces in Ireland, this among many others was done by a specialist pitch contractor, yet Mayo board are going with a the same local firm for the second time.
    Is this money well spent?

  52. I can only hope and assume that the county board followed the required procurement rules. The estimated amount of money to complete the job determines the type of contract used, it dictates the number of companies that are invited to tender and the method of tendering (e-tenders). Usually the assessment of the tenders is based on a combination of quality and price. It’s a transparent, standardised process including opening procedure which is designed to eliminate any auditing pitfalls. Just because someone local got it shouldn’t come into the equation as long as they follow procurement rules and get the MEAT

  53. @toe to hand, from somebody that works alot with ETenders I know a fair deal about it.
    For all Government work, Consultancy and Contracting, Schools, OPW, Defence etc is a shambles.
    Same Consultancy and Contracting firms get most jobs on an “Open Tendering process”, a nod and a wink as they say.

    But a pitch surface / drainage / type of bedding etc is a very specialised job, not too many firms can get this right.
    What happened to McHale Park after the last job was done ?

  54. Definitely, what Dublin did this week is cheating. But it’s also putting lives at risk and disrespectful to those who can’t attend family funerals. I don’t agree with tarnishing everyone else with the same brush. That would not happen if it was the opposite way around.

    In my opinion, this form of cheating undermines everything Dublin have achieved and Jim Gavin must be seething.

  55. As I expected, it appears from Tomas O’Se today in INDO that he fully supports the Dubs on CovidGate…

  56. I am sure Joe Brolly, ‘Joe Biden’s newest best friend’ will also fully condone the breach, he will bring out the usual nonsense about ‘role models’ humility and matbe have a picture of some Dubs ‘sweeping the dressing room’ again….

  57. THEcontractor should start the construction work on the pitch NOW. there is no time to lose . if nobody can be at matches this year the games can be played anywhere.IF work does not commence now it probably will not be ready for 2022 season when we will all be back shouting and cheering on the team again. let the WORK begin NOW.

  58. The tendering competition for the new pitch looks to have been carried out in a professional manner, 4 contractors asked to tender based on price and quality (it’s a good sign that fixed price was mentioned), as toe to hand said being a local company doesn’t come into it, if they had the Most Economically Advantageous Tender then they have to be awarded the contract. There would have been a standstill period where the other three could query the result if they felt hard done by.
    Looking at Killeens website they do have experience working on GAA pitches including Tuam. It really depends on the specification for the job, from what I can piece together it is a considerable job being done, the drainage looks to be what’s required and lengthening the pitch will be good. I do have concerns regarding the pitch itself, from what I can gather the existing soil is not being removed, rather sand imported, cultivated, levelled and seeded. So it wont be a Croke Park, Pairc An Corcaigh type of surface.
    Mayo88, regarding the last job done on the pitch, it all depends on what they were contracted to do, if they did what they were asked and paid for then it’s not their problem if it didnt work.

  59. The 2004 All Ireland Final is on Eir Sport at 9 for any of you into that sort of thing

  60. I have thought about this long and hard, I don’t want Dublin out of the Championship, but there has be a more meaningful santion than a 12 weeks suspension for Dessie Farrell, much of it in a period that football can’t be played , how about that Dublin don’t play any games in Dublin Croke Park or Parnell Park League or Championship , and only play in either Parnell Park or Croke Park in a final league or All Ireland championship final if the public health situation should allow for full attendance. ..

  61. Dublin co board being very clever imposing the 12 week ban with Immediate effect .
    Dublin players should be fined individually and so should Dessie for organising the training.
    ..
    Covid is way too serious and too many in the Gaa national and local media with their heads stuck up Dublin Gaas hole …

  62. watched 2004 final last night on Eir Sport, looked worse last night than it did live in 2004.
    you would have to wonder how a team played so poor and were so badly prepared for a final. What is the problem with Mayo in a final.

  63. culmore. you a glutton for punishment. mayo should have by beaten by fermanagh in the semi-final that year.i thought 2004 and 2006 nightmares were gone from my memory but they will never leave until mayo win the all-ireland.the wait goes on

  64. Lads & Ladies, dont pay any attention to Big Mike, trying to just stir up defeats from the past. If I remember correctly Big Mike is a Galway supporter.

    Let’s stick to the current issues, the Dublin players breaking very stringent rules.
    As far as I am aware there is a full nationwide ban on all training for amateur sports.
    There is a 5km travel limit in place since early January.
    There is a level 5 lockdown in place since early January.
    Is Dublin County Board aligned with Croke Park ?, where are Croke Park in all this, they make the rules for all Gaa Counties.

    How things have become so quite in the media with all this, why the silence ?
    We are constantly being fed with the don’t travel, don’t meet up with friends etc, yet the Dublin players seem to have a free reign to do whatever they like.

    I understand that many of the past footballers now work and receive payment for newspapers, RTE, Sky Sports and on podcasts, but not a single word of any serious consequence has been mentioned to date.
    There seems to be some type of an enforced silence in place.

    Have things really changed in Irish Society since the old days of the 1950’s, 60’s, 60’s, and 80’s.
    Sure say nothing type of an attitude.

    To Gaa supporters of Counties outside of Dublin, how in the name of God do ye actually think your Counties can get fair play in an All Ireland final v the home team in their ground of Croke Park.
    Surely somebody in the spotlight has the balls to come out and spell this out for what it really is.

  65. You are correct Mayo 88, this should be the main talking point now. Something very important in this saga that has been glossed over is the fact that the Innisfails Gaa Club grounds are actually controlled by the Dublin Co Board and have been for almost 15 years.

    The Dublin Co Board obviously gave permission for the training to take place.

  66. Mayo 36 – probably because we left our best midfielder on the bench.

    Pat Navin came on as a sub that day, was that his only league or championship appearance for mayo? If so I wonder is he the only player ever to play in all Ireland final but no other championship appearances?

  67. Take it easy Mayo88. I am indeed a Galway man but have no part in the scheduling of old games on TV. I have watched over the past while the 2006 All Ireland Semi featuring Mayo, the 2003 Tyrone Armagh final, the 2001 Hurling Final, and the 2001 Football semi between Meath and Kerry.
    There’s very little else GAA to be watching at the moment

  68. Some of ye are very naive of ye think Dublin aren’t the only ones training. They are the ones that got caught. Does not make it right of course but be careful with the pitchforks because you know don’t who could be next.

  69. When was the announcement about the award for the renovation of the MacHale Park pitch made? I can find no mention of it on the Official Mayo GAA website.
    Regards the type of work being done that depends very much on what you have there already and where the problems are seen to lie. It may be that the basic soil in Castlebar is ok but that the top few inches is very compacted from overuse, particularly in bad weather. Somebody mentioned that Pairc Taillteann has the best surface in Ireland. This is not terribly surprising as Co Meath has some of the best soil in Ireland. It is very hard to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear – and vice versa. Putting in a Croke Park type pitch may be easy or not but what about the costs of maintenance? Does anybody commenting here know anything about that?

  70. Just been checking up on that Andy . Roscommon followed Croke Park when they resurfaced Dr Hyde Park but it’s expensive (around a million I think) There is no Irish company capable of laying new turf it has to be imported from the UK by a company who specialise in surfacing football pitches Apparently once the strips mesh together there is little maintenance cost. Sounds ideal though costly but might be better than waiting up to 18 months for grass to grow and surface to settle but I’m no expert All I can say is I’ve walked Hyde Park and its class, about all that’s good about the place

  71. I’d prefer to see 1000 tons of good topsoil than 1000 tons of wexford sand.

  72. Heiio,

    It looks like attendance at Events is not far off?

    The UK are lntroduclng free Covid Tests twice a week for all very soon. Results in 30mins.

    As well as that talking about covid free passports.

    We should be there in a couple of months.

  73. @Ciaran 2.. That’s the UK, where they are miles ahead of us in terms of Vaccinations.

  74. Mayojoe,
    Did the GAA not buy a farm in north Dublin a year or two ago to produce turf for relaying pitches, particularly Croke Park after concerts? At the time I recall they said it would also be able to supply other grounds around the country. It should have ample supplies of turf available now with no concerts in Croke Park for the past year and practically no ground development anywhere n the country.
    Regards costs of maintaining Croke Park is it not the case that Croke Park has an irrigation system built in supplied with water from a well on site? This irrigation system is, I understand also capable of improving the natural drainage system of the grounds by drawing water from the ground in the event of very heavy rainfall. So you have the double advantage of irrigation when needed and powered drainage when needed. It’s all well and good putting in a super drainage system until you have that [rare enough admittedly in Mayo] drought. With climate change we have no idea of what weather will be like in years to come. But its not so long ago since we had a nationwide hosepipe ban. I would not like to be depending on Irish Water if we need to irrigate MacHale Park. We may be lucky to find a well on site but that is no guarantee.

  75. Andy D, a sprinkler system is included in the McHale Park pitch upgrade as well as storage tanks to collect roof/surface water for irrigation. pumps are also included in the drainage system, presumably the water will be pumped to these storage tanks.

  76. Good to see that, Mayomad, but it will take a hell of a big tank to make any difference in a real drought. I presume that they will be using the drains to distribute the water because surface watering, even at night, is pretty much a waste of water and can be actually damaging to the grass in the long run as it encourages root development near the surface where the drought is most damaging. I am presuming that any water in the drains will be collected again and returned to the tank when an irrigation operation is complete. Distributing water through the drains encourages deep root development and makes the grass more drought resistant. If water is applied to the surface much of it is evaporated, even at night. I know that is how lawns are watered but that is because people have no other option and it means that it is practically a weekly job

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