Westmeath GAA Leinster Council Delegate, Pat Reilly, pictured with former Westmeath secretary and treasurer, James Savage.

O’Byrne Cup to continue

The O’Byrne Cup and Walsh Cup have been discussed and each of the 12 Leinster counties made submissions on what they envisaged for the future of those competitions. It was agreed that they will continue for 2024 and beyond, delegates at the recent Westmeath GAA County Committee learned.

Pat Reilly, Westmeath's Leinster Council delegate, reported on the issue.

“Everyone felt it gave a structure to county management teams around the playing of games and possibly looking at potential players, rather than having challenge games,” he explained.

Changing the date and bringing the competitions forward would mean the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) would look to enforce that they needed six weeks’ training prior to the start of the competition. That would push back the start for inter-county training and possibly put an additional financial strain on counties of around €8,000 or €10,000 for the month.

“Based on that – at the minute – the competitions will remain the same for 2024.”

A review of the various submissions made by counties will take place at the next meeting.

Mr Reilly also pointed out that if Westmeath, for example, were to reach the final of the O’Byrne Cup, it would be played a week before the start of the National Football League. The county will have to discuss whether that is a satisfactory situation and give the Leinster Council delegates direction for the next meeting.

Elsewhere, on the grant funding that is available for this year, it was stressed that clubs seeking funding for development work would be looked at more favourably that those looking for bridging finance.