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Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

'The Munster semi-final should be played in Fitzgerald Stadium'

Marc Ó Sé believes the Munster CCC were correct to move the game to Killarney.
Apr 4th 2022, 8:00 PM 14,872 5

KERRY STAR MARC Ó Sé says that the Munster CCC were right to remove home advantage from Cork for the upcoming Munster semi-final.

The Cork senior footballers have insisted they will not agree to playing their Munster semi-final at any venue other than Páirc Uí Rinn. It comes after the Munster CCC moved the game to Fitzgerald Stadium on Saturday 7 May as they deemed the Cork venue’s capacity too small to cater for the game.

The 45,000-capacity Páirc Uí Chaoimh is unavailable as the stadium is being used for Ed Sheeran concerts.

a-general-view-of-fitzgerald-stadium-before-the-game Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“The Munster semi-final should be played in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney,” said Marc Ó Sé on the latest episode of The42 GAA Weekly.

“Kerry and Cork have had a good relationship with pitches down through the years. Páirc Uí Chaoimh was under construction, the games were moved to Killarney. When it was ready, Killarney gave Cork the three years they were entitled to. 

“The reason this game isn’t available is that Cork needs funds to make sure they are financially secure. As a result, Ed Sheeran is played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“That is not Kerry’s fault, not the Cork players’ fault. At the end of the day, it is a Munster Championship game. They take place in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney or Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Not Austin Stack Park. Not in Pairc UI Rinn. 

“It was Cork’s decision to have a concert.”

Ó Sé does not believe this situation is similar to 2018′s ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ because in that case, Kildare were losing a home game. It has already been confirmed that the next two meetings of Cork and Kerry in the Munster Championship will take place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“On top of that, the capacity. We’ve seen in Munster Championship games between Cork and Kerry on average is 22,000. Now, Pairc Ui Rinn can only hold 11,000. It is not right. I feel as a result it should be played in Fitzgerald Stadium. 

“It is slightly different from Kildare’s ‘Newbridge or Nowhere.’ That was Mayo and Kildare. Not a Munster Championship, not 100 years of history. You have a deal in place going back 100 years, why renege on that because one county is not going well? For me, it is disappointing that a stance has been taken on this. How come this didn’t happen back in 2016, 2017?” 

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The three-time All-Star said he has sympathy for the Cork players and that rescheduling the future should have been explored.

“It is not the players’ fault or the management’s fault. This call is from the top down. The Cork county board executive.

“The reality is, Cork have a fantastic venue in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. It is class. Albeit it came at a high price but they will have it forevermore. If they can generate revenue and make a few bob, great. Ease the burden. You would wonder could the game be changed a week or so?” 

To listen to the full episode, go to members.the42.ie.

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Maurice Brosnan

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