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27th May 2019

John Horan looking at two-tier championship for next summer

Jack O'Toole

GAA President John Horan has said that the association will consider a two-tier championship this summer following a host of one-sided games in the provincial championships.

Dublin slaughtered Louth in the Leinster quarter-final, Meath defeated Carlow by 15 points while Tyrone cleared Antrim by 14 points in Ulster.

The one-sided nature of the early rounds of the championship has seen many fans and pundits call for a reform of the competition and Horan told RTE’s Morning Ireland  that the Association will consider major changes to the championship structure as soon as the autumn.

“When you look at the championships in the last few weeks, you see great local derbies and great matches and then you see some games a little bit too big a gap in the actual result.

“With the big gap in result, if you look at the draw we’ve made this morning, you see a large number of Division Three and Four teams are already in the qualifier section.

“Our hope will be at the next central council meeting in June to bring forward proposals to look at the introduction of a Tier 2 Championship for those teams in Division Three and Four.

“There’s an appetite out there within the organisation to go ahead with a Tier 2 Championship and now is the time to grab that while the appetite is out there and I think we will possibly get it through at Central Council. If we do we’ll call a Special Congress in September/October to look at putting it forward to maybe having it introduced next year.”

Horan’s two tiered championship vision would prevent another Carlow Rising

Horan said last year that the GAA conducted a straw poll at the 2018 Central Council and noted that members were largely in favour of reforming the championship.

“We discussed it the last day at Central Council… We put it to the floor for just a straw poll opinion. Every hand went up, everybody was of the view that it should happen.

“We have written to the counties and we have asked them to come back with what they feel should be the make-up of a tier two competition. We will take on board what they have to offer and we will present it.

“We are doing a bit of research as well into the performance of the Division Three and Four teams in the qualifiers in the last few years and see have they benefited or have they gained anything out of it.

“Have they beaten Division One or Two teams or are any wins they are getting in the qualifiers solely coming from beating Division Three or Four teams?”

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