Should Dublin be split in two?
It's basically a cat call we've been hearing for years, from everywhere except the capital. Long before they were dominating Gaelic football, it was a dig people would use to get the Dubs going. Now they've won five All-Irelands in seven years, it's become a slightly more serious conversation.
While the likes of Peter Canavan (and most Dublin fans) would argue that Dublin have made the most of investment, put their house in order, and set up the structures needed for success, others, led by Colm O'Rourke ("Split Dublin in Four!") and Ewan MacKenna (the far more reasonable argument about Dublin's hugely unfair funding advantage), bemoan an unfair playing field, and something that will lead to one team domination of the game for generations to come.
To take GAA games development funding of 31 counties per player to Dublin level would need budget increase from €3,138,907 to €90,673,525.40
— Ewan MacKenna (@EwanMacKenna) September 19, 2017
Either way, it's a debate that's going to go on and on, and will fester a lot more bad feeling before it's resolved either way.
One problem with the debate we have though - the illogical conclusion that the Split Campaign continuously reach; that Dublin should be split into North and South, with the Liffey as the dividing line.
This is an issue for us. We've had a look at the 35 man Dublin squad profiled on dublingaa.ie
Take that as a good starting point. If you were to divide the current panel into North and South, 22 of the current squad would be on the North Dublin team, with just 13 playing for the South.
A far more reasonable and fair way of dividing the county, if it came to it, would be to look at a west/east divide.
Taking a arbitrary line drawn down the R108 (the Ballymun Road) from north to south, the divide of clubs among the 35 man panel mentioned above would be thus: 19 from East Dublin, 17 from West Dublin.
And for those against the split, let's have a look at the teams we could make from both camps. Both would be immediate All-Ireland contenders.
East Dublin Starting XV
1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)
2. Mick Fitzsimons (Cuala)
3. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
4. Davy Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
5. Cillian O'Shea (Kilmacud Crokes)
6. Cian O'Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)
8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Brian Howard (Raheny)
10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
11. Con O'Callaghan (Cuala)
12. Shane Carthy (St. Vincents)
13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Diarmuid Connolly (St. Vincents)
15. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)
Manager: Pat Gilroy (St. Vincents)
West Dublin Starting XV
1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)
2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Denis Bastick (Templeogue Synge Street)
4. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens)
5. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
6. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. Eric Lowndes (St. Peregrines)
8. Michael Darragh McAuley (Ballyboden St. Endas)
9. James McCarthy (Ballymund Kickhams)
10. Paddy Andrews (St. Brigid's)
11. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
12. Kevin McManamon (St. Jude's)
13. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
14. Eoghan O'Gara (Templeogue Synge Street)
15. Bernard Brogan (Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh)
Manager: Jim Gavin (Round Towers Clondalkin)
We think the East would have the advantage, but the West team would take some beating.
That's settled so. That's easily the fairest way to divide the teams. We've even sorted the two best managers for the job. All we have now is sort out the colours, the team names, and you know, actually agree that Dublin needs to be split in the first place.
Easy. The hard work's done.
Let us know how you would divide the team differently or if you disagree with our selections in the comments.