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'World domination? Think again!' - Dublin take issue with 'extravagant hyperbole'

County board CEO John Costello insists that Dublin GAA is not “awash with cash.”
Dec 5th 2016, 7:00 PM 7,519 5

DUBLIN BELIEVE THAT ”extravagant hyperbole” surrounds the exploits of their all-conquering senior footballers.

The Sky Blues captured back-to-back All-Ireland crowns this year to make it four Sam Maguire Cup wins in six seasons.

Dublin have also claimed the last four Allianz Football League crowns and their domination of the big ball code has been viewed in some quarters as a negative.

The Dubs also won the Leinster crown for a sixth successive year and continue to cast a massive shadow over the Eastern province.

But county board CEO John Costello insists that despite a bank-busting sponsorship with AIG, Dublin GAA is not “awash with cash.”

In his annual report to county board convention, Costello has responded to accusations that Dublin possess too much financial clout for the rest.

And he’s also suggested that Dublin’s dominance of Leinster and the All-Ireland series is very much a cyclical thing, and pointed out that the county’s record in the minor and U21 grades is “far less emphatic.”

Cormac Costello celebrates with his father celebrates with John Costello John Costello celebrates Dublin's All-Ireland senior football final replay with his son, Cormac. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Costello writes: ‘World Domination? Think Again! It’s official: world domination beckons for the Dublin footballers.

“So it has been claimed in certain quarters after we became the first county to win back-to-back All-Irelands since Kerry in 2007, with Jim Gavin feted as the first manager to retain Sam Maguire since Billy Morgan in 1990.

“Do our historic trailblazers and their manager deserve the high praise heaped on their shoulders since 1 October?

“Without question – they are a credit to our county and themselves.

But I have an issue with the more extravagant hyperbole that tends to greet most All-Ireland champions, and more especially, a team that has garnered four of the last six SFC titles. And it’s this: all this talk of Dublin domination could strengthen the argument (a nebulous one, I believe) that something radical must be done to “stop them”. We’re not even talking about splitting the capital in two – thankfully that canard has been buried in the dustbin of daft ideas.

“There is much talk of funding equalisation in the GAA, how the finances at our disposal must be curbed to “level the playing field”.

“But this presupposes that Dublin GAA is awash with cash (we aren’t) or that you could slash our funding from central coffers without any negative effect.

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John Costello with Jim Gavin John Costello congratulates manager Jim Gavin after Dublin's replay victory over Mayo. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“At the most basic level, this is about jobs – that funding is diverted to coaches operating at the juvenile and club coalface throughout the county.

Let me stress, I fully support efforts to bolster the central funding available to so-called weaker counties – they aren’t blessed with some of the advantages that Dublin possess and they need help. However, it behoves Croke Park to find ways and means of generating more resources, instead of settling for a division of the same cake. Put bluntly, extra funding for other counties should not come at the direct expense of Dublin’s games development initiatives.

“Bleed that well dry and it won’t be long before soccer and rugby make inroads back into terrain that Dublin GAA has fought, tooth and nail, to colonise in the first place.”

Costello wrapped up his summation by highlighting some numbers that provide hope for would-be challengers.

He added: “I’ll finish with a few statistics that might modify your viewpoint about Dublin’s alleged supremacy.

“There has been much talk of how we’ve monopolised the Leinster SFC since 2005, winning 11 of the last 12 provincial titles, and I cannot argue with the stats.

Con O'Callaghan dejected at the end of the game Con O'Callaghan and Dublin suffered All-Ireland U21 semi-final defeat to Mayo in April. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“But our record at U21 and, especially minor level, is far less emphatic.

“In that same period (2005-16) Dublin have won just four Leinster minor championships (’09, ’11, ’12 and ’14), failing to reach the last two provincial finals, and harvesting just one All-Ireland (2012).

“Our record at U21 level is more impressive – seven of the last 12 Leinster titles, and three All-Ireland successes in 2010, ’12 and ’14 – but we have failed to reach the last two All-Ireland finals.

Suffice to say, there are plenty of ambitious players and managers in other counties who have tasted underage success against us. They will be desperate to emulate that feat in the senior grade.

“Moreover, if you consider Dublin’s victory margins in this year’s All-Ireland series (five points against Donegal, two against Kerry and just one against Mayo, after a replay) you could hardly say we are streets ahead of the chasing pack.

“No All-Ireland is easily won. Next year’s certainly won’t be.”

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Jackie Cahill

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