The O'Byrne Cup final has been a surprising source for, well, news this January. Meath and Longford created history last weekend as their semi-final was decided by a free-kick taking competition, with the Royals winning to set up a final against Westmeath that has been shrouded in doubt.
Meath manager Andy McEntee admitted that his team may withdraw from the final given that it has been fixed as the second game of a double-header in O'Moore Park in Portlaoise. Given the weather forecast for this weekend, McEntee believes that the Portlaoise pitch may not be fit to stage two games this weekend.
It is understood that the game is in Portlaoise at the request of TG4, to allow them double it up with the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship semi-final between An Ghaeltacht of Kerry and Tyrone's Moy.
Meath had suggested that the game be played at Cusack Park, Mullingar, which the Leinster Council rejected.
Today, amid all of the confusion, the Leinster Council issued a statement to clarify their position.
There will be a pitch inspection in Portlaoise on Sunday morning, and if it fails, the game will be switched to Mullingar...if that pitch is up to holding two games in a single afternoon.
And if all that fails, the game will be postponed until the middle of February, which is, of course, in the middle of the National League.
The following are the preparations for this weekend’s Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup football Final.
The match is currently fixed for a 4pm throw-in at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise as part of a live TG4 double-header broadcast with an AIB All-Ireland Intermediate club football semi-final between An Ghaeltacht and An Moy Tír na nÓg preceding it at 2pm.
However, given the adverse weather conditions that are forecasted for the Midlands on Saturday night and into Sunday morning, the following procedures are in place.
A pitch inspection will take place at O’Moore Park at 9.30am on Sunday morning to determine if the pitch is playable and also capable of hosting two matches.
In the event that this is not the case the possibility of switching the game to TEG Cusack Park will be considered. However, this would be dependent on the pitch in Mullingar being playable having hosted an AIB All-Ireland club junior football championship match on Saturday featuring Knocknagree v Naomh Colmcille.
Pairc Tailteann is ruled out due to the fact that there is an AIB All-Ireland club junior hurling championship semi-final being played there at 2pm on Sunday featuring Ardmore v Setanta and there are no floodlights to enable the staging of a 4pm throw in.
In the event that there is no playable pitch, the match will be postponed and refixed for the weekend of February 17/18.
Any changes will be posted immediately via local and national radio, leinstergaa.ie and Leinster GAA social media channels.