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"It Would Make The Strong Stronger" - How Does Your County Intend To Vote On Super 8 Proposal?

"It Would Make The Strong Stronger" - How Does Your County Intend To Vote On Super 8 Proposal?
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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The fate of the controversial 'Super 8' proposal to reform the All-Ireland football championship remains uncertain this evening.

County board officers from all over the country are gathering in Croke Park as GAA Congress 2017 begins. The identity of the next GAA President will be known by about 9.30 tonight.

The vote on the 'Super 8' proposal will be taken tomorrow.

Balls.ie has surveyed a number of county board officials and county delegates and found that, even tonight, many remain unsure about which way they intend to vote on the matter.

In many counties, delegates have already been mandated by their clubs to vote in a certain way. For instance, the club reps in Kildare and Waterford have instructed their delegates to vote in favour of the 'Super 8', while in Westmeath, clubs last night instructed their delegates to vote against the measure.

In several other counties however, clubs have not mandated their delegates to vote either way on the 'Super 8' proposal. In many of these counties, delegates are still contemplating which way they will vote.


Balls surveyed a number of counties today. A number of counties got back to us while others remain coy.

  • Westmeath, previously assumed to be backers of the proposal, now intend to vote against it. Following a county board meeting last night, their clubs mandated their delegates to reject the proposal. PRO Aidan Walsh told Balls.ie that the view of the room was that the 'Super 8' proposal would make the strong stronger and the rest would be cut adrift. The elite would pull further away from the pack, etc.
  • Kilkenny have no strong feelings on the Super 8 proposal. Their PRO Seamus Reade told us that the view among county officers in Kilkenny was that the proposal relates only to football and thus does not affect them. He did say that Kilkenny are against the moving forward of the All-Ireland finals to August, saying that this would affect their club championship schedule. He said their delegates will consult delegates from other counties before making their choice.
  • The Longford delegates have not been directed by their clubs to vote either way. They are intrigued by the Laois counter motion that the  However, their PRO indicated that as things stand Longford are likely to vote in favour of Paraic Duffy's Super 8 proposal.
  • Louth are still officially undecided but earlier reports indicate they are swinging strongly against the proposal. Balls anticipates that they will oppose Duffy's proposal.
  • Like Louth, Sligo remain officially undecided but their delegates plan to meet to decide the matter later this evening. John Fogarty reported them to be in favour of Duffy's proposal alongside the rest of the Connacht counties. But yesterday, Cahair O'Kane listed them as likely opponents in his Irish News article on Thursday. As of this evening, they remain undecided but their secretary Gerry O'Connor has indicated he is personally in favour of the Super 8.
  • Waterford, Cavan and Kildare have all been instructed by their clubs to support the measure.  
  • Tyrone will oppose the Super 8 proposal and argue for their alternative motion, which consists of leaving the qualifier system intact as is, but moving the All-Ireland finals forward by a month.

Writing in the Irish News yesterday, Cahair O'Kane named the ten counties who are likely to revolt against the 'Super 8' proposal.


These were Carlow, Laois, Tyrone - all of whom are pushing their own alternative motions - Derry, Down, Cork, Kilkenny, Louth (uncertain but likely to oppose), Wexford, Wicklow and Sligo (wholly uncertain).


To this number, we can add Clare, who confirmed they are to oppose the proposal today, and Westmeath, who told Balls.ie that their delegates have been instructed to oppose the motion.

If all 13 counties listed above vote against measure (remains doubtful), that would put roughly 76 delegates in the opposition column. Toss in the GPA's solitary vote and that rises to 77.

The counties thought to be supportive of the measure (aka, the rest) boast about 113 delegates altogether.


The combined number, however, doesn't come close to accounting for all the delegates. For a start, the GAA President, all previous presidents, provincial chairmen all boast one vote each.

Then, there are the international delegates, representing GAA units in places like Yorkshire, Warwickshire, North America, Canada, Europe and New York.

They boast roughly the same voting power as Connacht. They represent a wildcard element and are entirely unaffected by the proposals.


These delegates are usually not mandated by their boards and are thus free to vote their consciences. It is possible that the international delegates will tip the balance in this vote.

There are 285 votes in total. The motion needs a two-thirds majority to pass.



Read more: The 1993 Ryder Cup Showcased How Much US Golfers Really Hate The Democratic Party

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