While remaining controversial among pundits, but universally adored by intercounty players, the GAA’s second “split-season” rumbles on. The theatrics of All Ireland football and hurling are but a distant memory, replaced by the more local, parochial club leagues and championships. Here is a brief round up of what has been happening throughout the country.
Split Season growing pains
The split season is still supplying plenty of headlines, with comments ranging from “unmitigated disaster” to the best thing since sliced pan. While fixture congestion and the surrender of the traditional GAA September slot to the Premier League have been well documented, a new issue has raised its head. Many club championships have remained unmoved from their traditional late August start, despite many counties having been out of the All Ireland since early July.
Tyrone’s club championship didn’t start until the Junior championship got underway last weekend, over two months since Kerry beat them in the quarter final on the 1st of July. Fermanagh’s championships at all grades also begins this week, a long time since their Tailtenn Cup exit.
Kerry have moved their senior club championship from early spring to the end of August, a move deemed fitting of the prestige the competition is now held in. While the County C’ship is still the main competition, the dominance of Kerry’s regional teams is making Kerry’s 8 senior clubs reassess their priorities.
Kerry GAA have also extended Jack O’Connor’s tenure as manager of the senior footballers for a further 2 years. Jack, who has led the Kingdom for the last 2 years, was re-elected with unanimous votes from club delegates. Next year will be his 10th year in charge, with previous stints from 2004-’06 and ’09-’12.
Interim Offaly football manager Martin Murphy, who took charge after the tragic loss of Liam Kearns last March, declined an opportunity to manage Offaly in 2024. He has been replaced by Declan Kelly, who led the Faithful County’s U20’s to their second ever U21/20 All Ireland in 2021. According to a statement from the county board “Declan’s coaching personnel will include Vinny Mooney – a former Shannonbridge and Offaly footballer who was a coach and selector with the Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland Club winning side this year and Ciaran Kilmurray from St Loman’s, Mullingar.”
Cavan and Lacken goalkeeper Raymond Galligan is set to take over from Mickey Graham as Cavan senior football manager. The 2020 All Star winning goalie is taking the road less travelled, as he is set to go straight from intercounty player to intercounty manager, pending ratification at the next county board meeting. Galligan, who was Mickey Graham’s captain during his five year tenure, is yet to announce his retirement as a player, but it is not expected that he will occupy a player manager role.