No McGrath Cup u-turn for Tipperary footballers

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No McGrath Cup u-turn for Tipperary footballers
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No McGrath Cup u-turn for Tipperary footballers

Tipperary won’t rethink their McGrath Cup boycott.

The Premier were one of four counties to withdraw from the pre-season football tournament in 2014.

Limerick, Waterford and Clare also refused to play in protest at the Munster Council’s decision to seed the provincial Football Championship and keep kingpins Cork and Kerry on separate sides of the draw.

Eight teams will play in the slimmed-down cup which is due to begin on 5 January.

And while the Tipp County Board would rather be involved, they have agreed to respect the players’ wishes.

“Nothing has happened since,” chairman Sean Nugent said yesterday.

“The players got together when that problem arose and they made a decision not to play in the McGrath Cup.

As the county board we would prefer they were playing because it leads into the National League and it’s good for preparation.

The decision has been taken and we have to respect that.

Footballers from the four disgruntled counties have threatened to extend their boycott to the Munster Championship in 2015 if the seeding is not reversed, but Nugent hopes the matter will be resolved before then.

“We hope that common sense will prevail into next year and they can look at the draw again, which the Munster council will do, and a better situation will prevail.”

Nugent also revealed that the county board has written to ask the GAA to intervene and save Hayes Hotel.

The Thurles hotel, which was the birthplace of the Association in 1884, recently went into receivership.

“We can appreciate their position,” Nugent said.

Their business is playing games and it’s not running hotels, but at the same time it’s a very special place in the hearts and minds of GAA people and we don’t want to lose sight of that.

“I understand there has been discussion with some people in government circles on the mater. Other than that I don’t want to preempt anything.”

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