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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 17 April 2021

The GAA are hoping to step in to try to solve Galway's Leinster hurling problems

But moving to Munster does not seem ‘viable’.

The Galway hurlers
The Galway hurlers
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

THE GAA PRESIDENT believes there is ‘a total unfairness’ to the current situation facing Galway hurling with the absence of home senior championship games and a lack of matches for their U21 and minor teams.

And Aogán Ó Fearghail is planning to intervene along with Director-General Pauric Duffy in order to find a solution to the problem.

There is growing unrest in the county at Galway not playing any Leinster ties at Pearse Stadium while their underage sides continue to be locked out of provincial action.

One club in the county is seeking to table a motion for them to join the Munster hurling championship.

Ó Fearghail is aiming to address the issue after next February’s GAA Congress and try to sort it in time for the 2018 season.

“I have no doubt that it’s for ourselves to deal with. I was asked by you guys very shortly after I came in as Uachtarán, that I thought it was unfair to Galway with the situation they were in and I still believe that.

“I accept that there are issues for Leinster counties also but it’s gone too long. I see a total unfairness in the situation.

“I think you need to look at it and Pauric and myself have already decided, we will deal with it. We’ll address it almost immediately when Congress is finished.”

The GAA President has doubts over whether Galway joining Munster is feasible and also points to a similar predicament facing Antrim hurling.

Aogan O' Fearghail GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“I’m not sure that’s a viable option. I think you are just moving something from one chair to another chair.

“This a complete package, Galway aren’t the only county impacted, Antrim are a county who at the moment are in the Christy Ring Cup.

“But when they play, and I’ve no doubt they will, back in the Liam MacCarthy they are a county whose position needs to be looked at.

“It’s a bit strange to see that Antrim, for example, can play maybe in the Liam McCarthy Cup at senior but yet their minors and U21′s not (in Leinster).

“It’s going to be very limited what we can do. We have an exciting wonderful product in the Munster hurling championship and that is going to have to be fairly well preserved.

“Now there is in Leinster, how do we solve this? It’s going to be difficult, but we are not going to hide from it.”

The level of opposition within Leinster to further integrating Galway is unlikely to abate.

“There are some counties in Leinster that have expressed total opposition,” admits Ó Fearghail.

“We have to grasp the nettle and that’s Galway’s position and Antrim’s position. Other counties are just going to have to accept that.

“Have we reached the stage where we have a Munster Championship and a rest of Ireland championship? We’ll have to put a number of proposals before these counties and let them see.

“It still goes back to the point of fairness. Galway, as a strong hurling county, the situation they are currently in, there is no fairness attached to that.

“Certainly Galway as a county I think they deserve to play a hurling match in Salthill in Pearse Stadium.

“I can’t be too adamant about that because a lot of Leinster counties don’t agree with that position and we have to listen to them. But I don’t mind giving you my own opinion on it.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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