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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Horan hints at future tweaks to Super 8s format

DUBLIN BIAS: John Horan. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
DUBLIN BIAS: John Horan. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

GAA President John Horan has suggested that there will be tweaks to the 'Super 8s' format before next season but stopped short of saying whether Dublin would play two matches in Croke Park again next year.

Speaking at the GAA's launch of the All-Ireland series, Horan admitted that being from Dublin himself, "no matter what I say in that debate it's always going to be seen I'm going to say something with a bit of a shade of blue on my back.

"You can't solve everything for everyone and you will get divergent opinions on things," he stated.

"So in that context we go for A or B, we'll never be seen to be totally right."

Horan conceded that the association are "in unchartered waters" regarding the reformatted football and hurling Championships, as the recent controversy over the venue for Kildare's qualifier with Mayo and the clarification sought by the Donegal county board over Dublin's fixtures demonstrated.

"The sensible thing then would be in the calm light of day to settle down and just see are there are any tweaks we may be able to apply to just improve things," said Horan, who also suggested Donegal's gripe was more to do with the schedule of their own games rather than the venue for Dublin's.

"I mean Dublin have never complained as to where they have ever been asked to play, so I'm quite sure if Dublin were fixed to play in Thurles Dublin would play in Thurles and they'd be the last county to complain.

Successful

"When Dublin (hurlers) were caught last year against Tipperary down there, (county board chairman) Seán Shanley spoke out but not in any strong manner.

"They went ahead and played the game, there was no protest even though that was listed as a neutral venue they did play Tipperary in Thurles."

Asked whether the currently raging debate over Dublin's perceived advantages was rooted in begrudgery, Horan replied: "I never experienced any begrudgery going around this country looking to become president of this organisation as a Dublin man.

"In actual fact it was never ever on the table, so I don't feel there is begrudgery there against Dublin.

"People have a rivalry against Dublin, which his healthy, they're the capital, they're successful.

"I mean there is rivalry against Kilkenny, I'm quite sure if Galway keep going the way they're going there will be a rivalry against Galway.

"Dublin never look on it as begrudgery. Look, you've got to live in the real world, when you're up there you are always going to be challenged and you have to live with that.

"To quote one of Dublin's least greatest fans, Colm O'Rourke, the playing of matches in Croke Park by Dublin benefit an awful lot of other counties in Leinster from the funding that's raised and the benefits they get from infrastructure grants and coaching.

"That's just one angle from a person who is not the biggest fan of Dublin," Horan concluded.

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