GAA

'We're Definitely Not Going To Let This Die' - Kildare And Antrim's Stance Against The GAA Continues

'We're Definitely Not Going To Let This Die' - Kildare And Antrim's Stance Against The GAA Continues

#NewbridgeOrNowhere yielded a resolution, but the second stance Kildare took against the GAA last week is far from over. Two days before their Ring/McDonagh Cup playoff at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh last Saturday, the Antrim and Kildare hurling panels released a joint statement calling on the GAA to negate the need for such a playoff by retaining the Joe McDonagh Cup as a six-team competition.

The tweak to a five-team competition is being made in order to have an even number of teams in the Nicky Rackard Cup, as it is divided into two groups that play on a round-robin format.

The lengthy statement read that it was "incumbent on us to highlight the unfairness and inconsideration surrounding this fixture in the hope that we can positively affect change for the future." Both panels called the decision to reduce the competition to five teams "illogical", saying that it "only serves to make it more difficult for aspiring counties to compete".

Both panels were clear in their belief that Antrim should remain in the McDonagh Cup while Kildare should be promoted. There is more to the statement than the above, which you can read in full here.

Kildare ultimately lost the game by 12 points, played as it was in searing heat and just a week after their Ring Cup victory at Croke Park.

The story, however, isn't going to end there as Kildare captain Brian Byrne explained on this week's edition of The So-Called Weaker Podcast.

You can find the podcast on iTunes or on your Andriod podcast app by searching 'Balls.ie'.

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Byrne took us through the process which culminated in Kildare's joint stance with Antrim.

 

We were unhappy with what we had to do. We felt it was upon ourselves to investigate it further and see how Antrim felt. Credit to the GPA in this scenario. We got in contact with them, and they were very helpful in backing us in saying what we felt we need to say.

They came up with the idea that we would discuss it with Antrim. They felt the same way as we felt. We were aggrieved that we had to play another game after we won the Christy Ring, and they were aggrieved that they had to play another game when they didn't finish last in their competition. They weren't happy they had to play a game, so we thought it was best to come together and fight our corner together.

Kildare had considered boycotting the game, but decided against it. Instead, they plan on rallying the other teams in the Joe McDonagh Cup in a bid to lobby the GAA to retain the six-team format.

There was talk of it, but it's a difficult one. We understand that the fixture was there and had been agreed on before the competition commenced. We were probably going to put ourselves into too much trouble by throwing the game, and then wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

So instead we said we'd put out the statement, we'd play the game and we'd give it our best shot. Now we'll take a couple of weeks break and then come together again to continue fighting our corner.

By playing the game we've played by their rules, we've done everything so it's now up to them to listen to us and understand where we are coming from.

There are guys on the Kildare panel who have won two Christy Ring Cups and have never have played in a higher tier, because of a rule in 2014 and this year. Some of those guys are stepping away now, and it's a pity that they didn't get the chance to promote Kildare hurling at a higher level, given their service.

We're definitely not going to let this die. We are going to take a week or so to relax, and sort out our lives outside of hurling. Myself and Niall O Muineachain spoke with Neil McManus after the game, to say that we'd come together again. We look forward to taking it on further and getting it resolved. We believe it's the best way to go.

And with what Neil and other teams have said, a lot of the teams in the Joe McDonagh are happy with it having six teams.

The best scenario for us is to come together with Antrim, try and rally the backing of the other Joe McDonagh teams, and lobby that forward to the GAA.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast.

See Also: Donegal To Contest Decision To Host Super 8 Game In Croke Park

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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