FORMER GALWAY HURLING manager John McIntyre says he’s not shocked that the county are still being denied home matches in the Leinster Championship.
The Leinster Council announced yesterday that Galway will have to continue travelling for their provincial fixtures next season, despite being in the competition since 2009. The exclusion of the Galway minors and U21 teams is also set to continue.
McIntyre, who stepped down in 2011, says little has changed since his time in charge when Galway were first introduced into the Leinster Championship.
“It doesn’t come as a great surprise,” he told The42.
I think there’s a fair bit of self-preservation going on in Leinster. No matter how you look at it in terms of fairness, Galway are getting a raw deal here.
“During my three years in charge, we played Walsh Cup matches and Leinster Championship games. The only home game we had was against DCU and that was only because they weren’t a county team.
“It’s basically been the same under Anthony Cunningham and Micheal Donoghue. Galway has been travelling lengths and breadths for their matches and it’s very difficult to justify.”
Leinster Council Chairman John Horan outlined a number of reasons for upholding the stance on Galway, including an unwillingness among Leinster counties to travel to Galway’s Pearse Stadium in Salthill for games. He also added that Galway are financially compensated for the lack of home matches and receive €20,000 annually from the council.
McIntyre however, says this figure is insufficient.
“The Leinster Council are making virtue of the fact that they are paying Galway a sum to compensate but I don’t think €20,000 would even cover the cost of travelling to two or three games. There’s a lot of expense involved and it’s a bit of a sop to Galway really.”
In relation to the issue of Leinster counties travelling to Galway for provincial fixtures, McIntyre rebuked the argument presented by Leinster Council and said it would an enjoyable occasion for travelling supporters.
I think it’s a hollow argument and it doesn’t stand up to any rational scrutiny. The reality is that it’s all about self-preservation. If Galway were drawn at home in the Leinster championship, the bottom line is that the team they would playing would feel they’re at a disadvantage.
It was previously suggested that Galway would consider asking Croke Park to intervene if their request for home games was refused again this year. McIntyre says it’s only a matter of time before Galway hurling is provoked into action.
“You can understand why there’s a lot of disgruntled Galway hurling people around at the moment.
“The Leinster Council can’t have it both ways. Galway were invited in to help prop up an ailing championship. I think they have kept up their side of the bargain but they’re getting nothing in return.
€20,000 a year to fob them off really just doesn’t cut the mustard in the context of the cost of modern inter-county teams.
“The level of Galway mutiny over this remains to be seen,” McIntyre added.
“The ball is in Galway’s court now and they’ve basically been told, ‘We want you in Leinster but on our terms.’ If Galway were winning Leinster titles and winning All-Irelands, I don’t think this would matter but they’re not.”
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