Rage in Midlands as Dublin finally set to play in Portlaoise
At least Carlow now knows where it stands.
For the record that is bottom of the Leinster GAA food chain - below Wexford, below Laois and certainly below Kilkenny.
On Wednesday night the Leinster Council announced the venues for the 2017 Leinster football and hurling Championships, with one fixture - even at the remove of eight months - of much interest to fans.
Where would the back-to-back All-Ireland champions Dublin open their defence? Considering they have won 11 of the last 12 provincial titles, where Jim Gavin's team play is of more interest than who they play these days.
No Croker https://t.co/lKCQbH495J
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) November 17, 2016
In 2016, for the first time in a decade, the Dubs were taken out of Croke Park to play Laois in Nowlan Park, so the expectation was that - having been drawn against the winners of Carlow and Wexford - they would be on the road again in 2017.
And so it came to pass, with Dublin's quarter-final fixed for Wexford Park, if Wexford prevail over their Division 4 rivals, or Portlaoise, should the Carlow men be victorious.
Wait, Portlaoise? Wasn't O'Moore Park deemed unsuitable to host the Dubs last summer? Was that not why Laois fans stayed away from Nowlan Park, as a protest to the Leinster Council's decision to deny them a home fixture against Dublin?
The GAA cited the better facilities in Nowlan Park, despite the world and his dog knowing it was the greater number of seats in the Kilkenny ground that won the day. Despite the Cat Laughs comedy festival meaning their was a severe shortage of accommodation in the Marble City.
The Dubs won easily and the whole controversy went the way of all GAA controversies, until Wednesday night when O'Moore Park was deemed suitable to host the Dubs, when it is a neutral venue at least.
It goes without saying Laois fans were not happy with what they saw as double standards.
Dublin could be playing in portlaois next year but there 'away' game to laois this year had to be in kilkenny?? #leinster
— shane logan (@shaneLogan21) November 16, 2016
So if the Dubs get Carlow in Leinster, they'll play them in Portlaoise, yet when we got Laois last year, we played them in Kilkenny. #gaa
— Ryan Nugent (@ryannugent93) November 16, 2016
Great question Walter also why is Portlaoise ok next year but Laois had to play in Kilkenny last year!!
— Hugh Lynn (@lthugh) November 16, 2016
So Dublin will go to Wexford next year. Great for Wexford but makes the decision to bring Laois to Kilkenny last summer even worse now
— Steven Miller (@steven_miller12) November 16, 2016
@Woolberto @SportsJOE_GAA If it's Dub v CW nxt yr its gona be in Portlaoise. Makes bringing Laois/Dub to KK this yr all the more baffling!!
— John Kelly (@Kellyjohn85) November 16, 2016
Some were suggesting a very flaky conspiracy that hinges on Division 4 Wexford beating Division 4 Carlow
@Carlow_GAA @CLGLaois Laois not allowed play Dubs at home yet Carlow can play Dubs in Portlaoise ?? #gaa #laveitso
— Stephen Bambrick (@babsclio) November 16, 2016
Then there are confused Carlow fans, asking the same questions Laois supporters were asking last year.
any reason Carlow won't get a home game if they win? Dr Cullen is a grand stadium
— Chris Traynor (@PerformTraynor) November 16, 2016
Stupid decision having a possible game between Carlow and Dublin outside of Carlow. @leinstergaa
— Rob Lenehan (@RobLenehan) November 16, 2016
Netwatch Dr Cullen Park, for the record, has a capacity for 21,000 - just 3,000 less than Innovate Wexford Park and 5,000 less than O'Moore Park. However, once more, the issue of seating can be used to explain the GAA's decision, or more importantly the issue of the price of a seated ticket.
Anyone who doubts money makes the GAA world go round has to see the Wexford GAA Twitter account's response to the news.
2017 @gaaleinster SFC Q/Final, 3rd/4th June
If @DubGAAOfficial v @OfficialWexGAA - Wexford Pk
If @DubGAAOfficial v @Carlow_GAA - O'Moore Pk
— Leinster GAA (@gaaleinster) November 16, 2016
Innovate Wexford Park. https://t.co/OegM5hNmCm
— Wexford GAA (@OfficialWexGAA) November 16, 2016
Aaron Kernan joins Colm Parkinson on The GAA Hour to explain the work he's doing for the Club Players Association. Derry captain Chrissy McKaigue talks Slaughtneil and a Dublin club advertising for hurlers gets a sore touch. Subscribe here on iTunes.