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Connaught football / munster hurling and football to a lesser degree / ulster football / leinster hurling are not broken imo and means a lot to players. Our issue is that other counties have fallen backwards in leinster at football with very few green shoots to give hope. I still remember big days against Meath and Laois of more recent times that we were tested to the core and didn’t get over the line on many occasions. We are just blessed with the best squad of players the GAA has ever seen and nobody especially can even test us for longer than 50 mins. But it wont last and a team will come from nowhere and knock us off eventually.


is it broken though? because Ulster isnt as hard as it once was? Because we are dominating leinster? Connaught seems ok football wise. Nobody is minding yet another cork-kerry munster final where kerry will yet again stroll to victory.

if one county in leinster gets it shit together (kildare or meath) then we will be back to how it was before. there hasnt really been a time when there were three or four strong football counties in leinster, it was two at the most.


Early 1970s, Offaly and Kerry very strong, Meath fairly strong, and that was it really. Cork became strong and were still a serious outfit til the later mid-70s.

From the mid-70s on Dublin and Kerry took over, and for 13 years only Offaly won an All-I otherwise. They were strong from about 79-83. Meath had a good team in the mid 70s, Rossies were decent for a couple of years, and apart from that there was bugger all else.

Mid to late 80s were all Meath and Cork though Dublin were still strong. Again, nothing much else out there.
The next two decades made people believe that more counties in contention to win was the norm but that only applied really in the 90s. Ulster started a golden era, as such, with 3 teams winning Sam, and by the late 90s Armagh were well on the up and Tyrone were a force too since 94/95. Dublin were very strong in the first half of the decade, Meath and Kildare were mostly very competitive, even Offaly had a burst.

The later 90s Meath were very strong and Galway came from nowhere. Kildare will never have a better chance than 98 though. Cork reached two more finals too. The 90s was an aberration.

People described the 00s as continuing the golden era but in truth after 2003, there were only two teams in it. Dublin and Cork were decent, Cork poxed to win that All Ire in 2010. Armagh and Derry were competitive. Mayo reached finals but were no better than some of the above really. Similarly I didn’t count Galway teams from 83 or 74, nó more than decently above average really.

So in this decade we’ve had the obvious two, and Kerry and Donegal were very strong for a while, Kildare and Down had a decent two years, Tyrone competitive overall. Monaghan deserve mention though haven’t got past a Qtr final, were closer to doing so in the 00s in fact, so far.


The vast majority of counties have absolutely no chance of ever winning an All Ireland and not much chance of winning a provincial title. Lots of lads simply will not play now. This is new. A split is happening between counties that can go semi-professional and those that can’t. Dublin haven’t lost in Leinster on yonks. There is no reason to suggest that this will change any time soon. People can say how things were in the past but simply put, players are opting out where previously they weren’t. We need to get rid of the provincial system and have A and B open draw league championships.


The problem you have is politics. The provincial councils control the purse strings and reap the rewards for the gate receipts up to and including their provincial finals. There is no way they will relinquish all that power easily to Croke Park. So when it comes to voting any new proposals at congress I just can’t see the Provincials being scrapped. Even though I agree they should try something new, maybe the Super 8’s is a gateway to a round robin type situation for the summer football…


The problem is the amount of time and sacrifice an intercounty player is expected to give these days. Even those who have no hope. Simple as.


Exactly. So if the suits in Croke Park don’t find a way to put manners on the provincial suits, we are in big trouble.


Everything about the provincial Championship is outdated. I think there should be 3 seperate championships. With teams earning the right to get into each tier. League standing could dictate who goes into which championship.
People talk about if the game against Dublin was in Aughrim , it would get more kids in Wicklow interested. Winning gets kids interested. If Wicklow , Offaly, Sligo lads at start of year felt they had a chance of actually winning a Championship and started doing well , it would get more local kids interested .
Yesterday Wicklow lady beside was reading out Wicklows record in Leinsterfrom the programme
7 Leinster quarter finals , 7 losses.


I’d agree with most of this except your view that this is new. It’s been going on for a few years now. We’re immune to it in Dublin given the team’s profile and success.
As I said, sort the IC managers out and you’re half way there.


How do you work that out? Pray tell.


Work what out?


You suggest that sorting out Inter County managers will fix the situation. How?


The reason players are walking is because the commitment level being asked of them is far too much relative to the number of championship games they play and their chances of winning anything. As an example, being required to train over 20 times in December when you mightn’t play your first championship game til late May and be out by mid June. Are we surprised rationally thinking people don’t want to sign up to this?

Put in place tighter restrictions around the amount of access that intercounty managers have to players and ensure they’re enforced. Reduce the commitment level required and tier the championships and suddenly you have something players might look forward to. The clubs have a big role to play in their enforcement too.
The mindset needs to change from county players on club duty back to club players on county duty.


Agreed yea, need to drastically reduce the training to game ratio and give everyone something they can realistically play for. The league is a better competition because it’s structure is more logical but it is undermined by being the secondary competition - which is why we’re slowly morphing into round robin championship structures. Really we need one proper competition which has plenty of games for every grade of team and something for each team to realistically aim towards winning. That’s how it work now at every level except inter-county football.

More matches in a shorter overall season allowing a better schedule of club games is important. Also giving supporters a good few home games to go to is the way forward imho. i think the hurling championship so far has been a revelation.


That indeed is the answer. They must again become club players who play for their county rather than county players who very occasionally play for their club …


Great post! It needs to go back to being an amateur game.


I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single inter county player say they want to play in a second tier competition?

And this notion that if it’s set up that it would serve as a curtain raiser to the AI final is nonsense too, Tickets are scarce enough as it is without the AI finalists having their allocation reduced even more…


Has hurling improved in the weaker counties since they are getting more competitive game time, instead of an annual hammering from the big guys?


Look how the Tommy Murphy Cup fared out years ago. Many players and even counties withdrew from it. A secondary competition would only be respected if GAA give it proper recognition. Tommy Murphy final was played one year 12 o’clock before a AI quarter final. Final needs to be played on the Saturday of All Ireland weekend or same day as senior final.


You quoted my question with a question? …

I’m being genuine, I have never heard a single player come out and say they would like to play in a second tier competition. It always seems to be the fans or retired analysts who say it. If there was a desire for a second tier competition from the players we’d have heard about it by now.