Louth GAA

'What are you going to learn?' - Louth GAA delegates propose scrapping winter leagues

Louth GAA

Caoimhín Reilly, at Darver Centre of Excellence

Reporter:

Caoimhín Reilly, at Darver Centre of Excellence

Email:

caoimhin.reilly@dundalkdemocrat.ie

'What are you going to learn?' - Louth GAA delegates propose scrapping winter leagues

Pat O’Brien has proposed running off the entire Paddy Sheelan Cup and Kevin Mullen Shield competitions at Darver Centre of Excellence.

Pat O’Brien has proposed running off the entire Paddy Sheelan Cup and Kevin Mullen Shield competitions at Darver Centre of Excellence.

The Sean O’Mahony’s delegate made the assertion at Monday night’s county committee meeting following a discussion in which several representatives claimed their pitches weren’t playable.

O’Brien asked CCC chairman Seán McClean what the rush was to get the season started, requesting a call-off of matches due to go ahead this weekend, which McClean refused, saying “we have to get football started”.

Dundalk Young Irelands’ Kieran Maguire entered the conversation, questioning the need for winter league competitions, especially when they’re due to be played in “horrendous weather”. “What are you going to learn?” Maguire added.

The Dundalk-based delegates claimed clubs were unable to play on their pitches for fear of “wrecking” them ahead of the start of the club leagues in April. Mr Maguire has previously probed the fixtures’ chiefs over the lack of football in August and September, the “prime” months of the year.

Mr McClean said his committee would look into the prospect of playing matches in Darver more regularly over the present month, while chairman Peter Fitzpatrick came to an agreement with treasurer Aidan Berrill that the cost price of the facility would be halved for the period in question, with clubs paying the fee equally.

It was also revealed that, as of last Monday, only 24 clubs have affiliated, leaving 17 in limbo and exposed to consequences should an injury occur. Mr Fitzpatrick issued a plea for clubs to get their fees submitted.

Finally, there was a call for new referees to come forward. It was claimed that there was “only a handful of 20-to-40-year-olds” on the ratified list of officials for 2020, with two of the declared whistlers being over the age of 70.

“We’re seriously short of referees,” said another stakeholder.