Tuesday 21 November 2017

No need to divide Dublin – Kettle

COME back to us in 10 years if we keep on winning - that was the message today from Dublin GAA chairman Andy Kettle, who has dismissed the recent clamour to split the capital in two.

The 'divide Dublin' debate was muffled by their U-21s' shock defeat to Longford last Wednesday night, only to resurface yesterday after Jim Gavin's seniors demolished their supposed chief provincial rivals, Kildare, by 13 points in Croke Park.

But in the wake of that NFL cakewalk, Kettle declared: "I was quoted a while back as saying that I didn't expect to see it happening under my watch. The stats don't add up – we have won one senior All-Ireland in 16 years.

"Yes, we have won two All-Ireland U-21s (in recent years) and a minor for the first time since Paul Clarke's era, but the hurlers haven't won an All-Ireland since whenever. In fact, I think the president (Liam O'Neill) summed it up fairly well by saying it would be commercial suicide."

Kettle maintained that Dublin's recent ascent is part of a cyclical process.

"At the moment our success, particularly in Leinster, probably would be down to the opposition slipping rather than Dublin improving," he argued.

"Yes, we have the biggest population - but we don't have the biggest penetration."

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