GAA President says we won’t be going back to September All-Irelands but hints they may move to later in the year

The GAA President says he can’t see a return to September All-Irelands but he has hinted that they may be moved to later in the year than the current dates in July.

Jarlath Burns says there’s been a lot of reaction – on both sides of the argument – to his recent comments that it might be possible to return to the traditional dates for the Sam Maguire and Liam McCarthy deciders.

He mooted the suggestion that the Hurling and Football showpieces could go back to their original spot in the calendar but only if county boards adopted a standard system for playing off their club championships.

The July finals in recent years have thrown up a lot of issues but clubs and players want to keep the split season.

Former Armagh Footballer Burns has been telling TippFM that a return to September looks unlikely because even a smaller change to the calendar would need big changes in counties’ like Tipperary’s club championship structures:

”There is a lot to be said on either side. As you say, clubs and club players in particular love the fact that they have a defined season. But what you mentioned about all the county boards having to amalgamate into a unified system, that would be troublesome.

”Well, again, it’s a compromise. The split season is a compromise. If we were going to go back, I don’t think we could ever go back to September, really.

”But if you were going to push it maybe forward a little bit, it would require significant compromise from the counties as to how they play their club championships. Some counties would be prepared for that, and some counties could actually work it in really well.

”But there are others that couldn’t. And the ones that can’t are the ones that are most faithful to both of our codes. The ‘Cork’s and the ‘Tipperary’s and the ‘Galway’s and all of these counties who have a genuine interest in promoting both codes.

”We cannot see those counties as a nuisance. But we have to see them as a template by which the rest of us should try and organize the GAA.”

So Burns has admitted to TippFM that he doesn’t think the finals can go back to September now after the reaction to his original comments but says he welcomes the debate.

However, he also hinted they could be moved when the whole thing is reviewed next year:

”The split season is a compromise. And I think maybe there might be another compromise, within in that compromise. But that’s really all I’m going to say.

”Everybody has an opinion on this. And since I’ve made those remarks, there’s been a lot of comment and a lot of very constructive comment and comment which I think we should not ignore.”