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Donal Óg Cusack Criticises Attitude Of New GAA President Towards Hurling

Donal Óg Cusack Criticises Attitude Of New GAA President Towards Hurling
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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A number of counties have made major efforts to grow hurling within their boundaries over recent years. The likes of Westmeath, Kerry, and Carlow have gone on excellent runs at senior level over the last decade or so, also improving structures within the game to help bring in long-term success.

Kildare are another example, with the Lilywhites performing brilliant in Division 2A at the moment.

Despite the good work that is being done, it is also fair to say that none of those counties mentioned have managed to challenge the established elite. The top tier of teams is well established in hurling circles, something that looks unlikely to change any time soon.

Donal Óg Cusack questions GAA attitude to hurling


Jarlath Burns will be the latest name tasked with growing both codes in this country, with the Armagh man set to begin his term as GAA President in 2024.

However, some are already concerned that he will neglect hurling in favour of Gaelic football.

Speaking on Allianz League Sunday, Donal Óg Cusack questioned Burns' desire to bring hurling forward during his presidency. He also said that the failure to establish new counties among the elite in the sport is on the biggest failings in the GAA.

We all know that the game at the top level needs more teams. It's something not to be proud of, the amount of counties that have won the Liam MacCarthy...

You'd have to question, in terms of the Association, where hurling stands. We've seen an All-Ireland quarter-final last year played on Saturday lunchtime when nobody could see it.

We have the presidents of [Jarlath Burns] over the last while. From the interviews I've seen, there has been nothing about hurling. Where is the director of hurling in Croke Park? I think all of those things tell a tale.

You'd have to bring into question the structure that we are using at the moment? Does there need to be positive discrimination towards these teams and give them extra credit for what they are achieving? For the likes of Kildare and so on, should there be extra money going in there? Absolutely.

I'd question whether it should be going in there outside of the current county board structure.

For example, look at Kerry. Kerry call themselves a great GAA county. Are they a great GAA county, or great football county? Hurling is part of the GAA and they've won only one All-Ireland since the GAA is in existence. We're coming up on the 150th anniversary and they won't be winning any more before then.

All of those are much deeper questions we have around hurling in the Association. I do hurling has been much better to the GAA than the GAA has been to hurling...

What I've said was, if you look at the interviews [Burns] has given, look at how many times he has mentioned hurling. We can BS and be a yes man if we want, but that's the reality. Everything I'm talking about there are facts.

It is far too early to know what effect Jarlath Burns will have on hurling during his presidency, but it seems that Donal Óg Cusack is already very sceptical that he will bring about any real change.

Growing the small ball outside of the traditional strongholds should certainly be seen as a priority by the GAA.


SEE ALSO: Pat Spillane Worried Kerry Are Not As Good As He Thought They Were

pat spillane kerry 2023



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