Close sidebar

Leinster Championship Untenable If Dublin’s Dominance Continues

In the past 11 years, a Dublin football team has walked up the steps of the Hogan Stand nine times to collect the Delaney Cup. The Leinster Senior Football Championship is a shambles. A winner other than Dublin came in 2010, after a Meath team overcame Louth controversially. Before that, we have to travel back to 2004 when a Westmeath team defeated Laois to be crowned Senior Leinster football champions.

In 2015, there was a lot of talk in headquarters amongst the GAA and also amongst the supporters of our national game crying out for a change. This year, we saw a hint of this when the Dubs travelled to Nowlan Park to face Laois in the Leinster quarter-final.

This came after Tomás Ó Sé labelled Dublin’s constant home advantage as being ‘unfair’ in his autobiography and portrayed the county’s ongoing success as being linked with this home advantage. Remarkably, the trip to Kilkenny was Bernard Brogan’s first ever inter-county Championship game outside of HQ. That stat says a lot in itself.

Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 4/6/2016 Dublin vs Laois Dublin fans during the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

So, Dublin were pitifully taken out of Croke Park for a quarter-final which was to be against Laois or Wicklow. They defeated Laois comprehensively on the day and then overcame a poor Meath side back in Croke Park a couple of weeks later. The Leinster Championship is built for Dublin to excel, for them to win every year.

People may ask why, but there’s a very logical reason behind this. Dublin are the GAA’s most profitable county in Ireland. They have huge sponsors in AIG, and generate enormous revenue from this and their largely-crowded games in Croke Park. The GAA, for its part, invests large amounts of money into Dublin GAA as they are assured to make profit. Although those in GAA HQ might argue otherwise, it’s clear that weaker counties throughout Leinster do not receive half the aid for new technical gyms, pitches, clubhouses or developments in comparison to Dublin.

Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 26/6/2016 Dublin vs Meath Dublin's of Meath Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Unfortunately, this is a domino-like system. Weaker counties will inevitably stagnate while Dublin GAA prospers. At this rate, nobody will challenge the boys in blue for a number of years in the Leinster SFC and lately, but in Leinster in particular, teams are lining out ultra-defensively in attempt to stop them.

Not only is a change in the Leinster SFC a necessity, but improvements in relation to a fair grant scheme for those in the weaker counties must be assessed too.

In the short term, nobody will challenge Dublin though. Stephen Cluxton’s miserable speeches in front of an empathetic Dublin crowd will be a regular sight for the foreseeable future. It would make you question if it’s all worth it for the weaker counties, when they only live off the hope of the capital having an off day in order to have a chance of Delaney Cup silverware.

2016 will mark the 11th year of Dublin winning the Leinster championship in 13 years, if faith beckons. However, we won’t jump to anything yet – let’s just wait and see on July 17th.

Jason Redmond – Pundit Arena

Read More About: , , , , ,

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.