A large crowd is expected in St. Brendan’s Park, Birr next weekend when it plays host to its first Offaly SHC semi-final since 2006.
Belmont, who pulled off an historic victory over four-time All-Ireland club champions Birr in the quarter-final, will face Coolderry at the redeveloped venue next Sunday at 4.45pm with Bord na Mona O’Connor Park in Tullamore hosting the other semi-final between holders Kilcormac/Killoughey and St. Rynagh’s at the same time the previous day.
Relations between the Birr club and Offaly GAA have been strained since most of the major hurling games were taken out of St. Brendan's Park following the redevelopment of the county ground in Tullamore about a decade ago. Last year, Birr chairman Willie Rigney and secretary Dave Bolger walked out of a county board meeting following a row over the lack of games St. Brendan's Park - which has also undergone redevelopment work - was getting.
However, next weekend’s semi-final will go some way towards appeasing those in the south of the county who still consider Birr to be the home of Offaly hurling.
Coolderry v Belmont will be the first Offaly SHC semi-final played in Birr since 2006 and is due recognition of the tremendous work of our Field Committee led by Pat Thompson, well done to all who helped make this happen 💪💚— Birr GAA (@BirrCLG) September 13, 2018