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25th Jun 2018

GAA President John Horan to examine the possibility of a Tier 2 championship

Jack O'Toole

GAA President John Horan has said that he will examine the possibility of a Tier 2 championship following one-sided thrashings in both of the Leinster and Munster Senior Football championship finals.

Dublin cruised to a record eighth consecutive Leinster final win on Sunday with a 1-25 to 0-10 win over Laois at Croke Park while Kerry trounced Cork 3-18 to 2-4 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The proposition of a tier 2 championship has been floated by many over the last few years with just four teams contesting the last seven All-Ireland finals.

The gulf between the top four sides and the rest of the teams in the championship has been stark and Horan said he will examine the possibility of a tier 2 championship during his tenure as GAA President.

“In my time I will look at a tier 2 Championship,” said Horan on RTE Radio’s Morning Ireland.

“The qualifiers came in to give teams extra games and a second chance but when you look at the draw today it still is the stronger teams that are coming through to the latter stages of the championship.

“It is on my agenda to have a look at a tier 2 Championship, to engage with all the partners involved and see can we progress it. There has been a resistance in the organisation to that but I’m quite sure if we put it together properly we might get a buy-in.”

Former Meath All-Ireland winner and The Sunday Game pundit Colm O’Rourke said last year that the provincial championships were a farce and that the championship structure needs to be addressed.

“What this shows again today is that the idea of a proper championship is a farce, whether in Leinster or in the rest of the country.

“Teams like Westmeath and a lot of other teams — 23 or 24 others — are just not able to compete.

“The sooner we have different levels to suit the various teams, the better it would be.

“Westmeath players going home tonight must be in absolute despair and imagine trying to pick themselves up for a qualifier — it’s not going to happen.”