Liam MacCarthy Cup captains back calls to withdraw proposal to exclude weaker hurling counties

November 24, 2023

Longford's Karl Murray dejected. ©INPHO/Tom Maher.

A GPA statement, signed by 11 Liam MacCarthy Cup captains, has called on the GAA to withdraw the proposal that counties with less than five adult hurling clubs should be excluded from playing in the Allianz Hurling League from 2025.

The controversial CCCC proposal will go before Central Council on Saturday week (December 2). If it is passed, Leitrim, Fermanagh, Cavan, Louth and Longford will be affected, with their inter-county season cut from six to three months.

The statement, also signed by the senior hurling panels and clubs of the five counties concerned, reads: “We, the undersigned, are calling on the CCCC of the GAA, to withdraw the proposal that would see five counties excluded from the National Hurling League from 2025 onwards.

“It has become clear that the consultation referred to in the proposal was not conducted with the right people or with the correct information being discussed.

“This is clearly the case given that four of the five county boards involved are now publicly on the record calling for the proposal to be rejected. The players and management in Leitrim also want to see it rejected.

“Given that is the case, we believe it is in the best interests of everyone that the proposal be withdrawn. It is clearly divisive and while that may not have been the intention, it does nothing for the development of hurling.

“If the CCCC does not see fit to withdraw the proposal, we call on all County Boards to ensure their Central Council delegates vote it down and help us instead to grow the game we all love.

“What the proposal has sparked is a conversation about the health of the game north of the much talked about Galway to Dublin line.

“We believe an opportunity has now emerged to really tackle the issue. Therefore we, the undersigned, have all committed to engaging with county boards, the provincial councils, the GAA’s CCCC and Central Council and anyone else who is interested in the health of hurling, to develop a plan to grow hurling within our counties and in other areas across Ireland where it is struggling.

“We will work with anyone and everyone constructively to secure the future of the game. That is our commitment.”


Lisbellaw St.Patrick’s, Erne Gaels Belleek, Lisnaskea Emmett’s, Fermanagh Senor Hurling Panel, Fermanagh Manager Joe Baldwin

Mullahoran St Joseph’s HC, Cootehill Celtic, East Cavan Gaels, Cavan Senior Hurling Panel, Cavan Management – Ollie Bellew and Tomás Mannion

Carrick Hurling Club, Leitrim Senior Hurling Panel, Leitrim Manager Olcan Conway

Knockbridge HC, Naomh Moninne HC, St Fechin’s, Louth Senor Hurling Panel

Longford Slashers HC, Wolfe Tones, Clonguish Gaels, Longford Senior Hurling Panel, Longford Manager Adrian Moran

Captains of Liam MacCarthy Teams in 2023: Eoghan Campbell (Antrim), Lee Chin (Wexford), Eoin Cody (Kilkenny), Seán O’Donoghue (Cork), Noel McGrath (Tipperary), Eoghan O’Donnell (Dublin), Dáíthí Burke (Galway), Tony Kelly (Clare), Paul Doyle (Carlow), Jamie Barron & Stephen Bennett (Waterford Joint Captains), Declan Hannon (Limerick)

The National Executive Committee of the Gaelic Players Association

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