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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

December All-Ireland final dates confirmed as GAA unveil 2020 championship plan

The announcement was made this morning in Croke Park.

Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

DECEMBER ALL-IRELAND finals are on the cards after the GAA confirmed today they will finish the 2020 championships in the calendar year.

The football final will take place on Saturday 19 December with the hurling final on Sunday 13 December and the Joe McDonagh Cup final will act as the curtain-raiser there.

The Leinster football final will be held on the 100th year anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

The full plans for their fixtures in the revamped championship were unveiled in Croke Park this morning to cover football and hurling.

The inter-county season is set to resume on the weekend of 17-18 October with games to be held on Saturdays and Sundays, some of them with ‘unfamiliar’ throw-in times.

Here are the changes that are in store:


  • Championship to revert to provincial knockout.
  • New York will not be involved and London will be involved pending travel restrictions.
  • No qualifiers in 2020 and Tailteann Cup is postponed until 2021.
  • The All-Ireland football semi-final draw will see Munster v Connacht and Leinster v Ulster.
  • Rounds 6 and 7 of the Allianz football leagues will be completed, the top team in each division is the league winner for that division. No league finals will be played.


  • Liam McCarthy Cup to revert to straight knockout in the provinces. Two round back door with All-Ireland quarter-finals.
  • New draw for Munster and Leinster senior championships – to be made this evening.
  • No Division 1 hurling league knockout games to be played, Limerick declared Division 1A and Clare Division 1B champions for 2020.
  • Joe McDonagh Cup to stay round-robin with the winner promoted to the Liam McCarthy Cup for 2021.
  • No entry to 2020 championship for Joe McDonagh Cup finalists.
  • Issue of what happens for 2021 Liam MacCarthy Cup championship should Kerry win Joe McDonagh Cup will be dealt with in final competition proposals.
  • Christy Ring and Nicky Rackard Cups to be straight knockout with Lory Meagher Cup to retain existing format.
  • Participation of overseas teams in lower-tier hurling championships will be on the basis of all games being in Ireland.

The games in provincial championships will be on a weekly basis and will be finished on the day (extra-time, penalties) in all inter-county knockout games including All-Ireland finals.

There will be no club provincial or All-Ireland championships this year, and no inter-county junior championship either.

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The U20 football semi-finals and final will be completed. The U20 hurling championship will be played concurrently with the senior hurling championship, no All-Ireland semi-finals as the provincial champions will meet in the All-Ireland final.

It is to be recommended that a player who plays (as a starter or sub) in the senior hurling championship becomes ineligible for the U20 grade until his senior team has exited the championship. For the U20B grade, a blitz type competition is being explored post the Ring/Rackard/Meagher completion.

The minor football and hurling grades will be knockout, the All-Ireland series will not be played alongside the senior competition. 

No quarter-finals in either grade, the draw has bee made in advance for the one semi-final in hurling with Galway to face the Munster champions.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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